Most healthy adults require anywhere from seven to 9 hours of sleep each night. While the benefits of getting this much rest are plenty and varied, it appears many people don’t recognize the importance of getting high-quality sleep.
Indeed, recent reports have shown that nearly 30% of US adults get by with an average of six hours or less of sleep per night. While some, trainee doctors especially, may choose to regard their ability to get by on minimal sleep as a badge of honor, it’s a fact that any significant shortfall in your sleep can carry significant negative health effects.
Insufficient sleep not only carries the risk of some fairly evident problems – tiredness, inability to concentrate, poor memory, but is also linked to many other mental or physical problems, including;
- Greater risk of accidents
- Compromised cardiovascular health
- Impaired ability to fight infection
The Science Behind Sleep
There are some obvious physical signs of poor sleep, such as puffy eyes and dark under-eye circles.
But chronic sleep problems can manifest themselves in a surprising variety of different skin-related problems.
The body depends on healthy sleep patterns to regulate the release of many different chemicals and hormones.
Sleep disruption can result in increased levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. Excess cortisol increases the rate that skin collagen degrades, and collagen is absolutely crucial to maintaining healthy-looking, resilient skin.
Poor sleep also reduces the normal production of human growth hormone – which is also important for maintaining healthy skin texture, as well as the muscles and bones that support our skin layers. Growth hormone is vital to repairing the day-to-day damage to skin cells that is a normal part of our lives.
Last and certainly not least, insufficient sleep increases many people’s tendency to gain weight – possibly by disrupting the production of chemicals that serve both to stimulate and regulate one’s appetite for food.
The resulting increased amounts of subcutaneous fat accumulated over the long term is another major reason for skin damage, resulting in stretch marks, cellulite, and other cosmetic skin problems.
Improving Sleep Quality
“Sleep quality” is the result of three factors – how long it takes you to fall asleep, how long you sleep, and how well (or deeply) you sleep.
Your first objective should be to try to increase the time you spend in bed, and minimize your use of electronic gadgets before going to bed, and especially once you’re in bed.
Sleep deprivation is not only a question of how many hours you spend in bed, but also the quality of the sleep you achieve once you sleep.
Sleep apnea is a well-known cause of low-quality sleep, but several other behaviors can contribute to reduced quality sleep, such as sleeping in an environment that has excessive light leakage. Anything that distracts from solid uninterrupted sleep can have cumulative negative effects, and these effects can be significant.
Your doctor may be able to recommend some supplements to help improve sleep, such as taking melatonin supplements before bedtime, but these unfortunately are not always effective.
Laser Skin Treatments from Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care is medically qualified to investigate and diagnose the causes behind sleep-related problems and perform a wide variety of non-invasive cosmetic procedures to mitigate many types of skin damage. Learn more about laser skin treatment options or call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation.