Why Getting Enough Sleep Is Crucial for Healthy Skin

Beauty sleep is not a myth - getting enough sleep is vital for healthy-looking skin.

October 11, 2021 5 minutes read
Woman sleeping with her dog

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To feel our best the next day, we need about seven, eight, or nine hours of good night's sleep.

But have you ever wondered how sleeping really affects our skin – on a cellular level? Is beauty sleep merely a myth, or is there something to it?

In this article, we will explain what's happening under the surface while we – and our skin – rest, and share some tips on how to get a healthy snooze and gorgeous skin.

Why Is Sleep So Important?

woman sleeping in her bed

We are fully aware that a poor night of sleep negatively affects our mood, not to mention our skin. Research shows that chronically poor sleep quality is associated with premature skin aging. Even one sleepless night can cause not so attractive morning look. You probably noticed that after a night of tossing and turning, your skin shows signs the next day, such as swollen eyelids, dark under-eyes, and pale and grayish skin tone.

In the long run, the skin becomes thinner, loses elasticity, and fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent [source]. This is because the night, or to be more precise, the time while we sleep, is the most vital part of the day for our skin. As our bodies rest, everything else works full steam. During these precious Zzz's hours, our whole body repairs itself, including the epidermis, brain, and muscles.

The circulation increases and the blood transfers even more nutrients and vitamins to our skin. The cell division is faster as well, resulting in rebuilding the collagen and repairing all the damage our skin suffered during the day, most importantly – UV damage.

However, there are other processes that take place in the skin while we sleep, such as transepidermal water loss. To prevent water loss from the skin during the night, apply a night mask before going to bed, and make sure to drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake up.

Tips on How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Fun fact: Did you know that an average person spends more than 30% of their life sleeping? If we sleep approximately eight hours a day, that means that in total, we sleep for 229,961 hours in our lifetime!

Having all of this in mind, we can't stress enough how important good sleep hygiene is! We need to use those eight hours of shut-eye wisely, and here are some tips on how you can aid your skin while resting:

Tip #1: Try to Get 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep.

man turning his alarm clock off

A good night's sleep is essential for our overall health, including our skin. While sleeping, the body generates growth hormones necessary for collagen production. Collagen is a protein responsible for strong and healthy nails, hair, and skin. Less sleep equals more cortisol, which interferes with the production of this important protein. For adults, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is recommended, but this differs from person to person.

To develop healthy sleep habits, and get a consistent sleep schedule, follow these tips:

Tip #2: Try Sleeping on Your Back.

woman sleeping on her back

We know this might be a tough one, especially if you're used to sleeping on your sides. But, you might ask yourself, why is it worth giving it a shot?

Well, remember that we spend almost one-third of our lifetime sleeping. Think about your face and cheeks being compressed for 30% of their existence against a hard surface. It's bound to get wrinkles and fine lines, especially if your pillowcase is rough.

However, if sleeping on your side or stomach is still your preferred position, try out skin-friendly silk or satin pillowcase. This will minimize the pressure and irritation resulting in fewer wrinkles.

Tip #3: Prepare Your Skin for Bedtime.

woman doing her nighttime skincare routine

When we're tired and sleepy, it's really easy to neglect the evening skincare routine. However, we should take advantage of these crucial several hours of snooze and take some time to properly prepare our skin before turning in.

This includes skin cleansing and applying an overnight moisturizer or mask to aid and stimulate all the natural processes that take place in our skin while we sleep. P.M. cleansing is much more important than a.m. because getting rid of the dirt, makeup, and cosmetics residue will unclog the pores and allow our skin to breathe during nighttime.

Cleansing should be followed by a moisturizer or an overnight sleeping mask. Go for an emollient-rich moisturizer that suits your skin type to prevent transepidermal water loss during sleep and strengthen the skin barrier function.

After applying a product, let it sit for at least fifteen minutes before heading to bed. This way, the skin will absorb your nighttime beauty products preventing them from rubbing off on the sheets and ending up on your pillowcase instead of on your face.

Tip #4: Consider Antioxidants and Anti-Aging Products.

woman applying her night face cream

Antioxidants, like green tea or vitamin C, will aid your skin's overnight repair and make your skin look fresh and rested in the morning. Similarly, you can get the most potent results from your anti-aging creams and serums if you apply them before hitting the sack.

Tip #5: Avoid Sun While Napping.

woman blocking the sun with her hand

Sleeping in direct sunlight is a big no-no. You're exposing yourself to the damaging sun rays without protection for an extended period of time without even noticing. Besides, light can disturb the quality of your sleep and sleep rhythm. To ensure your skin is protected and that your snoozing is not interrupted, put your bed away from a direct sun line and get blackout curtains.


If you want fewer wrinkles and a brighter, glowing complexion, take your sleeping habits seriously. You will be amazed just how proper nighttime skincare routine and sleeping hygiene can improve not only your overall look but your well-being as well.

Keep in mind: we spend one-third of our life sleeping! So, use this precious time wisely and care for your skin even while dreaming. It will definitely pay off!


Does sleep help improve skin?

While we sleep, certain processes happen in our body, including skin cell repair, increased blood flow, and cell division. All of this leads to the building of healthy collagen inside the skin and remedying damage that our skin had suffered during the day.

How can sleep affect your skin?

Thanks to the cell division and repair that happens in our skin overnight, those seven to nine hours of sleep are crucial for the health of our skin. During those hours, our skin heals itself, maintaining its youthful look for longer.

What happens to the skin when there's no sleep?

Usually, our skin will show the signs of a sleepless night already the next morning. The complexion will be dry and dull, the eyes will be puffy and swollen, and our under eyes will be dark. Also, our immune system will weaken, leading to inflammation and acne.

Can lack of sleep cause skin problems?

Chronic lack of sleep may lead to some skin issues. As our skin loses its ability to repair itself, our skin barrier will get weaker, which can lead to dehydration and lackluster complexion. In addition, it will be more prone to infections and inflammation, leading to acne and other inflammatory skin disorders.

What is the best time to sleep for the skin?

It all depends on when you need to get up the next morning. If you need to get up early, you should go to bed early as well to make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep. In any case, the optimal time to go to be would be around 10 or 11 pm.

tips for better sleep infographic

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