podcast tracking

Is Beauty Sleep a Thing?

Can you really wake up looking and feeling younger? We explore whether beauty sleep really exists and if you can benefit.

We all know that a good night’s rest is vital to waking up energized and refreshed, but if you get decent shut-eye, will you wake up looking prettier too? Was Sleeping Beauty onto something all along? Let’s find out if beauty sleep is real and, if so, why it’s essential to our wellbeing.

Beauty Sleep – Is It Real?

Catchphrase or age-old secret? Is beauty sleep even a real thing? Well, according to researchers from The Karolinska Institute, apparently so. In fact, the paper published in The Royal Society scientific journal says it all: “Negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal” – thanks for breaking it to us gently.

The experiment goes further than that, stating that a couple nights of bad sleep is enough to make a person look significantly more ugly. Apparently, panda eyes, eye-bags, and puffy lids could even prevent people from socializing with you too. This is because people with tired faces were rated as less healthy and approachable by strangers.

Studies also show that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with lower self-esteem, whereas “good sleepers” report a significantly better perception of their appearance and physical attractiveness.

So, does this mean sleep can enhance your beauty?

Does Sleep Increase Beauty?

Well, we already know that catching quality zzz’s means you wake up on the right side of the bed but does it mean you’ll wake up looking better too? Have you ever woken up from a bad night’s rest and noticed that you don’t look your best? Therein lies the answer. Based on the findings, sleep deprivation is clearly linked to decreased attractiveness, both when perceived by others and ourselves, but why?

In scientific terms, beauty sleep refers to the way our skin and body heals when we enter deep sleep. During this time, our bodies enter recovery mode and produce growth hormones, also known as the ‘Fountain of Youth’ hormones, which create new cells that heal our skin. Sleep deprivation can also impair collagen quality and lead to breakouts.

7 Science-Backed Reasons To Get Some Beauty Sleep

1. Bye-Bye Wrinkles

What if you knew that going to bed earlier could help you age more gracefully? Remember those growth hormones? Well, prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to a build-up of cell damage, ultimately causing visible signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and reduced skin elasticity. A study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine revealed that just one night of inadequate sleep can promote “biological aging” in adults. So prioritizing your beauty sleep means you’re less likely to wrinkle and most likely to age well.

2. Hello “Glow”

The same ‘Fountain of Youth’ hormones responsible for keeping wrinkles at bay also ensure that you wake up with a radiant complexion. Decent quality sleep helps maintain proper blood flow to the skin around your face and is the reason behind that rosy-cheeked glow. As you sleep, your old cells are replaced by fresh, new ones – banishing dull skin and ensuring you wake up with that luminous aura.

3. No More Bad Skin

Poor sleep is directly linked to reduced skin health. Because your body hits reset when you sleep – even on a hormone level – if you have inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis or acne, inadequate sleep can cause your skin to flare up. So sleeping longer helps to rebalance and renew, resulting in you waking up stress-free with fewer breakouts. More sleep and clearer skin? Yes, please!

4. Brighter, De-Puffed Eyes

A lack of sleep can leave your eyes looking puffy in the morning, not to mention the dark circles. Have you ever heard of the expression bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Well, getting a good night’s rest is key to achieving this look, the first part at least. However, you can hack this bit by staying well-hydrated and adding an extra pillow under your head at night, which reduces swelling and allows for enough elevation to prevent the puffy panda-eyed look. Besides, cucumber slices never seemed feasible anyway.

Source: Pexels

5. Healthier Locks

Hair loss, damage, breakage, and even growth are all affected by sleep quality. Much like the rest of your body, your hair follicles gain necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from blood flow. And as we know, good sleep is essential for proper blood flow, so a lack of shut-eye could lead to a bad hair day and hair damage and loss.

6. Weight Balance

Getting regular, good sleep means you’re more likely to maintain a healthy weight. In fact, a study revealed that people whose sleep schedules were off by just one hour are 33% more likely to become overweight or even obese compared to those who regularly get enough rest.

7. More Sleep = A Happier You

We all know what it’s like to wake up feeling out of sorts after a restless night. That’s because a lack of sleep changes your mood for the worse. Bad sleep can affect your social interactions, and people who have insomnia are ten times more likely to have clinical depression. So basically, the better you sleep, the happier you’ll be, and what’s more beautiful than you feeling happy?

How Much Beauty Sleep Do You Need?

Now that you know the impact of a bad night’s sleep and the positives of getting your beauty rest, you might be wondering how much you need to reap these benefits? Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. And if you’re getting less than six hours of sleep, you’ll probably notice the impact on more than just your mood!

How Can You Get Beauty Sleep?

Now that you know you need to prioritize catching those zzz’s, how can you get better beauty sleep? Falling asleep doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and some people struggle with getting a full night’s rest on a regular basis. If you’re in need of some extra beauty sleep, here are some tips to practice:

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Routine and rest go hand in hand. Wind down before bed, make a cup of chamomile tea, shut off your phone, and consider doing some journaling to help you release any anxieties. Give an app like Headspace a try – which offers science-driven sleep techniques and guided meditations.
  • Eat hydrating foods: Yes, chugging a glass of water before bed will help you stay hydrated before you hit the hay – but why not incorporate more fruits and veggies that are packed with water into your diet? This also won’t have you rushing to the restroom in the middle of the night!
  • Reconsider that nightcap: Drinking alcohol before bed can actually cause symptoms of insomnia. Avoid it at least four hours before bed – rather drink decaffeinated tea or a glass of warm milk.
  • Create a zen sleep environment: Essentially everything in your bedroom should signal to your body that it’s bedtime. A comfortable mattress, a dark space, and ideal room temperature (recommended between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit or 16-20 degrees Celsius) will lull you into a peaceful slumber in no time.

From healthier skin to a happier mood, these science-backed benefits are reason enough to getting more pillow time. Try not to lose sleep over any of this information! But if you are struggling to go off into dreamland, you might want to chat to a medical specialist so you can enjoy all the advantages of beauty sleep. Sweet dreams!


Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.