Does Lack of Sleep Cause Acne: Sleep Well
The trick to beating acne doesn't lie solely in your skin. Natural Dermatology are big advocators of taking care of the whole person, and not just the problem area. Sleep is a big factor in acne-care, and is consequently part of our lifestyle regimen. Increasing the quality of sleep that you get each night is one of the largest benefits you can achieve.
‘The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not be able to,’ F Scott Fitzgerald
Does Lack of Sleep Cause Acne? Sleep and the Skin
While lack of sleep doesn't directly cause acne, it can be a contributing factor for break-outs in someone already suffering from the condition.
Good quality sleep is important for everyone, and particularly for acne sufferers.
While we sleep, our bodies replenish themselves by processing waste, releasing toxins and recharging brain circuitry. If these processes are disrupted, or not allowed to be carried out effectively, results can include inflammation, backed-up toxins, stress, insulin resistance and a lower immune function - all of which are contributing factors to the symptoms of acne.
Sleep is necessary to heal the body. It's also a critical requirement for the regeneration of the liver, which is very important especially when you are getting rid of toxins in your body.
According to Web MD, the risk of psychological stress increases by 14% for every hour of sleep we lose. This unnaturally high level of stress can increase the body's production of the naturally occurring hormone, glucocorticoid, which can lead to outbreaks in the skin.
'A good night's rest starts long before you get to bed,’ Oliver Burkeman
Can Lack of Sleep Cause Spots? Tips for a good night's sleep
The cure for poor sleeping habits can be found in your daily routine. Physical activity, mental stimulation and the quantities of high-sugar, high-caffeine foods consumed throughout the day all have their part to play when we go to bed.
Most adults need 8 hours of sleep a night to remain functional and healthy, although everyone is different. Routines that work for some may not work for others. A few daily changes you can implement are:
1. Boost melatonin levels
Increase your exposure to natural light during the day, in order to boost melatonin production at night.
Exposure to natural light encourages production of melatonin, which regulates your circadian rhythm, helping you nod off at night. It's also an anti-oxidant.
2. Regulate your circadian rhythm
In humans, the circadian rhythm is the internal clock which regulates our sleeping and waking patterns. Because the rhythm is influenced by exposure to daylight, body temperature and food consumption, it is alterable. Going to bed at a set time every day and setting a regular time to rise could reboot your circadian rhythm.
3. Eat right and get regular exercise
Avoid heavy meals two hours before you go to bed, as your digestive system will be hard at work and provide you with energy that you do not need whilst sleeping.
Likewise do not drink too much liquid before you sleep to avoid waking up in the night to go to toilet. Too much sugar and caffeine will boost energy levels and keep you awake at night. They will also affect your skin of their own accord. Eat lean, healthy foods and stay away from processed things like ready meals and sugary sweets.
4. Get anxiety and stress under control
Stress, anger and anxiety can make it difficult to get a full night's rest. If you find yourself kept awake by worrying thoughts at night, keep a notepad by the side of your bed. Writing down your stresses is a great way to get niggling concerns out of your mind, leaving you able to relax.
Relaxation techniques like meditation and mindfulness can help keep anxiety and stress levels down, contributing to a good night's sleep and also lowering the hormones produced by stress.
Yoga or Pilates are a great way to take control of mental as well as physical health.
6. Make your bedroom sleep friendly
Noise, temperature and comfort all contribute to a good night's sleep. Most people need a quiet, dark place, which isn't too warm, to nod off. Experts suggest somewhere between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature, although comfort is key in this instance.
7. Comfort is key
Do you sleep on your side or your back? Those who sleep on their backs need smaller pillows as they fit more comfortably to the arch of the neck. If you are a side sleeper, however, you will need a slightly higher pillow. Have a friend take a look at you while you lie on your side - the correct pillow will keep your spine straight.
8. See your doctor
If you are still struggling to nod off at night, speak to your doctor. They may refer you to a sleep specialist, who can determine why you are having difficulty sleeping.
It's all about good sleep hygiene
Most importantly, take everything in your stride. Worrying about not being able to sleep is counter-productive and will leave you all the more stressed, resulting in further difficulties!
Becoming heavily reliant on sleep techniques can leave you unable to sleep when those techniques aren't implemented, so stay away from night-time rituals; instead, focus on your daily habits and follow other aspects of our lifestyle regimen, such as eating well and relaxing.