A good night’s rest does more than provide us energy. It actually changes how we look in five positive ways. These scientific benefits are too good to ignore.
Many of us have been told that we need to get a good night’s rest, but how many of us bother to learn why? There are real correlations between the amount of sleep we get each night and how we look. Its not just an old wives’ tale. So what does science have to say about these benefits? Getting a good night’s sleep goes way beyond the obvious.
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A new study provides evidence that sleep does indeed have an impact on our appearance. It not only makes us feel good, but legitimately makes us look better. How does getting more sleep work such miracles? Here are five scientific benefits of a good night’s rest.
1. Clearer Skin
According to data collected from the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 50 million Americans suffer from acne. Getting more sleep can clear up your skin, according to researchers. A study performed on mice by biologists at the University of Manchester discovered two types of collagen protein structures called fibrils that help form tissues and help with the strength and elasticity of our skin, bones, and teeth. The thicker fibrils are fully formed by the time we turn 17 and stay with us for our entire existence. The thinner ones break down easily when we are under stress and are repaired during the night as we sleep.
When we don’t get enough rest, our bodies can get the impression that we’re experiencing stress. Stress causes our bodies to release the hormone cortisol into our system. This in turn can cause skin inflammation and breakouts. Increased collagen production helps soothe this inflammation and can help acne and skin wounds heal better and faster. For the 31.6 million people who have eczema, getting more sleep provides some much-needed relief.
2. Slow the Aging Process
The thinning collagen fibrils deteriorate even more as we age, which can cause our skin to sag. When we sleep, blood flow to our skin increases which helps to rebuild collagen. This additional blood circulation releases melatonin as well that can help protect skin from U.V. damage and reverse the effects of aging. Collagen also works to bind calcium in order to improve joint flexibility and strengthen bones. A lack of proper collagen production can lead to medical conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
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During a two-day study, biologists bred mice that lacked the genetic capability of coding the body clock. Using electron microscopes and mass spectrometry, the biologists examined the overall extracellular matrix of the mice every four hours. They discovered that collagen fiber accumulation combined randomly when normal functioning was disrupted. This helps show that when we deny ourselves enough sleep, we can damage our skin by not allowing it enough time to heal itself properly. This can cause us to look older with saggy skin and wrinkles.
Better yet, getting enough sleep can help ward off illnesses commonly associated with aging, like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Be sure to get those eight hours to improve your health!
3. Better Smile
Getting a good night’s rest can help you improve your smile. According to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, approximately 74% of adults feel that having an unattractive smile can hurt them in having a successful career. Collagen is the substance that helps bind our teeth together and holds them firmly in place in our gums. It’s believed that losing collagen is related to losing our teeth.
The repetitive motions involved in smiling breaks down skin tissue, which causes lines and creases to form. As we age, our skin loses the ability to bounce back after tightening our smiling muscles. Since we naturally lose collagen production as we get older, getting more sleep can be highly beneficial towards helping us repair the skin tissues of our facial muscles.
4. Faster Healing
By getting a good night’s sleep, you can help your skin heal faster with fewer visible scars. When your skin gets cut, the body works as fast as it possibly can to stop the bleeding by forming clots and flooding the area to clear out bacteria and germs to prevent infection. This fast survival response creates scarring which weakens the skin on a permanent basis. Larger scars can impact mobility and the ability to perform everyday tasks, especially when joints are involved.
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Collagen can work to absorb the secretions from burns and wounds. This can help to prevent bacterial infections from developing as it allows the wounds to stay moist until they heal. Collagen production also helps new skin growth which can lead to a speedier recovery and healthier skin. According to a George Washington University study, collagen powder applied to the skin is just as effective in healing biopsy wounds as closing them with non-absorbable sutures which creates less scarring.
5. Cellulite and Stretch Mark Reduction
Collagen plays a critical role in the overall firmness of our skin. Approximately two-thirds of our skin is composed of collagen fibrils. By increasing our collagen production with a good night’s rest, we can potentially reduce the appearance of unsightly stretch marks and cellulite.
Cellulite itself is basically fat globs that get trapped under the skin and push the skin’s connective tissue out of shape. Stretch marks are caused as the skin loses its elasticity over a period of time. Collagen helps hydrate this skin underneath to improve its elasticity and firmness which can reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for looking younger and more vibrant. The almost four hours you spend on your couch every day could easily be time you need to sleep. This recent study provides a compelling argument that sleep does greatly impact our appearance. It can also provide us with many other essential benefits for our health beyond our surface beauty as well. So now when you say you need to get your beauty sleep, you’ll have the scientific evidence to back it up.
For more information on the benefits of a good night’s rest, we recommend “this book” on the subject.
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