How Lack of Sleep + Stress Can Affect Your Skin (Plus How to Fix It)
The holidays are fast-approaching, and this means travel, shopping, partying, entertaining.
Sounds so fun! Right?
Yes, but this festive season is usually dished up with a heaping side-dish of stress, and your skin may show it—so annoying, since you naturally want to look your best even if you’re wearing a deliberately ugly sweater.
Am I really stressed?
Stress, and the perception of feeling stressed, are subjective and relative.
Some people feel just fine with a level of pressure or uncertainty that makes others nervous and uncomfortable.
Stress almost always expresses itself in one or more physical symptoms.
For example, have your health practitioner check your resting blood pressure. If it’s high, you’re technically stressed.
The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep is also a classic sign of stress.
How and why does stress affect my skin?
Stress and loss of sleep may both be the source of complexion worries, including puffiness around the eyes, dark circles, dehydrated skin, and acne-breakouts.
There are multiple reasons.
For example, when you’re feeling anxious, your hydration and electrolyte levels drop.
This loss of moisture can make fine lines and wrinkles look deeper, and can make the delicate eye-area look sunken and blue-purple in appearance.
Stress also releases surges of cortisol into your body and may trigger acne blemishes.
How does lack of sleep specifically affect my skin?
In addition to dehydration, loss of sleep may cause changes in the pigmentation of your skin. This has to do with the relationship between two body-chemicals, melatonin and melanin.
Melatonin helps to balance cortisol levels in your body.
Melatonin is called “the hormone of darkness," and its production is suppressed by light, especially blue light.
If your cortisol levels remain high even after the sun goes down, chances are you won’t sleep well.
Melanin is the pigment produced in our skin, hair and eyes.
Melanin production is controlled by melatonin. When your melatonin production is upset by lack of sleep, you may notice changes in your melanin.
Robin’s Dark Spot Corrector helps skin keep a radiant, even glow. Tranexamic and kojic acids in the formula slow down melanin production to fade existing spots and splotches and keep new ones from forming.
What can I do to sleep better?
Sleep science and “sleep hygiene” are now a national health concern.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that 1 in 3 American adults don’t get enough sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your health care professional.
Meanwhile, here are a few tips that may help:
Get in touch with your inner “twilight.”
Remember that our bodies are still hard-wired to retreat and rest when the sun is down.
The landmark Nurses’ Health Study established that nightly exposure to bright artificial light is a significant health risk for women.
With this in mind, try turning off your electronics and lights as the sun sets, or at least lowering the brightness.
Turn off your phone and computer two hours before bed.
Light from blue screens delays the release of melatonin, and disrupts your circadian sleep-wake cycle.
Don’t shop or text from bed. Literally, give it a rest.
Take the television out of your bedroom.
Create a calming nocturnal sanctuary to invite sleep. The benefits of doing this are psychological as well as physical.
Robin recommends a nourishing night-cocoon of our moisturizing night cream to nurture and brighten skin and fight fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep.
Skip caffeine, exercise and food close to bedtime.
The idea is to allow your body to enter a neutral, relaxed state as you approach your bed for the evening.
To invite sleep, neural stimulation of any kind is to be avoided, especially if you have trouble drifting off.
Need even more inspo to get more and better-quality sleep?
Sleep-deprivation creates an imbalance between the two hormones that affect appetite and weight gain.
So, not getting enough sleep may show up around your waistline as well as in your skin. Getting adequate sleep is as crucial to healthy weight as proper nutrition and exercise.
See, there really is such a thing as beauty-sleep!