The sleep-skin connection
Getting enough “beauty” sleep
The sleep-skin connection
By Dr. Tanvi Tijoriwala, Naturopathic Doctor
A French study in 2015 depicted that people with poor sleep and fatigue upon waking up were more likely to have acne.
You have probably heard about the gut-skin connection and the hormone-skin connection, but one thing that no one talks about is how SLEEP affects our skin health.
A disturbed sleep is often linked to difficulty focusing, difficulty remembering things, feeling more agitated and irritated, feeling more fatigue, however, a French study in 2015 depicted that people with poor sleep and fatigue upon waking up were more likely to have acne.
Past studies have suggested that stress can exacerbate several skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and accelerated aging. Stress has often been linked to poor sleep quality and it is hypothesized that the reason why poor sleep can be correlated to unhealthy skin might be through the stress connection.
More research is definitely needed to understand how a restful sleep can play a role in healing the skin. And while we may not have a definite answer as to whether restless nights can affect our skin or not, it is always beneficial for our health to have good sleep. Here’s how we can do that:
Ways to optimize “beauty” sleep
- No screens before bed: Using screens (LED’s) before bed, such as TVs, laptops and phones can essentially affect sleep by inhibit the body’s melatonin production. Melatonin is an important hormone produced by a small gland in the brain that allows you to feel sleepy. LEDs emit blue light which can suppress melatonin levels and increase alertness. Using LED based devices an hour before bed can lead to sleep problems and reduced quality of sleep.
- If you have to, use blue-light blocking glasses: Sometimes using screens before bed is inevitable. In this case, using blue-light blocking glasses to prevent LEDs from disrupting your sleep can be beneficial. A study published in 2018 tested the effect of wearing blue light blocking glasses on sleep issues. It concluded that “wearing amber vs. clear lenses for 2-h preceding bedtime for 1-week improved sleep in individuals with insomnia symptoms”
- Bed hygiene: Studies show that having a clean bed to sleep in can promote better quality of sleep, instead of sleeping with clutter around you.
Sleep teas*: Some herbs can stimulate sleep by calming the nervous system or promoting melatonin release in the brain. Some herbal teas that have shown to promote sleep and relaxation are:
~ Passionflower tea
~ Valerian tea
~ Lavender tea
~ Chamomile tea
~ Oat straw tea
- Avoid drinking caffeine later in the day: Depending on how well your liver detoxes caffeine, it can or cannot affect your sleep if had later in the day. For those who detox caffeine slowly, having tea or coffee after 2pm can prevent you from falling asleep.
If you have tried these methods and haven’t noticed any benefits with your sleep or skin, there might be more going on. Book a free consult call with me to see how I can help.
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** always consult an ND before starting any new teas or supplements.