Americans spend one third of their lives in bed, but as a nation, we still aren’t getting enough sleep. As a result of chronic under-rest, our wellbeing is eroding.
Beauty + Sleep are so intertwined. Science has proven time and again that while we sleep our body goes into repair mode, fixing damage caused during the day and ensuring we wake up looking refreshed and our beautiful best; it’s the intersection of where technology + wellness meet.
Waking up looking refreshed requires more than just the absence of under eye darkness or puffiness, the skin tells the story. To understand better what actually happens to our bodies and minds while we sleep and why optimal sleep is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, we sat down with dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden who is lifetime member of the Academy of Dermatology and creator or GOLDFADEN MD, to get the scoop so that we can live our healthiest lives by gaining a better understanding of sleep as a crucial pillar of our well-being.
What is happening when we sleep?
Night time = ‘recovery mode,’ a time of intense repair and regeneration. What we have learned is that between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., our cell production can double, and if we’re in a deep sleep, you could see cell turnover increase by three times between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. If you sleep too little (typically less than 6 hours), you’re not giving the body time to repair itself. Ideally – we need between 8-9 hours of sleep for complete rejuvenation but this is not always our reality so we encourage people to try to get their deep sleep during the bodies most efficient repair period.
The nervous system has to states that need to stay in balance the Sympathetic System and the Parasympathetic System. The sympathetic system, which is more in control while we’re awake, keeps the blood flow near the core of the body. While we sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system runs the show and blood flow shifts to the the organis -including our biggest organ, the skin. An optimal parasympathetic system plays a major role in the ability to keep your complexion glowing.
In addition, at night, the skin isn’t under attack from external environmental stressors – the sun + pollution to name a few so this relaxed parasympathetic state allows for greater circulation and oxygen flow to the skin, our organs and the body is hard at work rejuvenating and repairing to help build more collagen, and release fluid and toxins that have built up throughout the day.
Hormones also play a major part of healthy sleep. Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain by the pineal gland and helps to regulate the sleep wake cycle. Human growth hormone or (HGH) is released during sleep and hence it’s name, helps to regenerate and grow healthy cells. Studies have shown that around 75% of HGH is released during sleep.
Waking up looking refreshed requires more than just the absence of under eye darkness or puffiness, the skin tells the story. The restorative power of sleep is vital for rejuvenating and repairing the skin and is controlled by the hormones melatonin and HGH (Human Growth Hormone). Melatonin production increases and peaks around 2am and as well as making us sleepy, it works to counteract damage to the skin during the day from aggressors like UV and pollution. The other hormone that kicks in while we’re sleeping is HGH (the human growth hormone), which is responsible for accelerating skin’s repair and cell regeneration.
What ingredients should we use night and why?
During the nighttime, as well as being more active, skin is more permeable too. It’s warmer, so it’s more receptive to the skincare products you apply. While this is brilliant, the flip side is that you will lose moisture. If things can get in, then things can get out. The morning phase is when “transepidermal water loss” through the skin is at its highest.
Wearing anti-aging products at night allows skin to absorb all the nutrients and ingredients while being in a relaxed state and out range of UV rays and pollution. During the nighttime hours, the skin springs into action to repair itself back into balance through a restorative and renewal process.
The skin springs into action to repair itself back into balance through a restorative and renewal process.The most potent anti-aging ingredients to look for in a night cream include: Retinoids, Peptides and Melatonin. The efficacy of melatonin as a topical agent also offers a promising avenue to enhance the skin’s nightly repair cycle.
· Retinoids attack hyper-pigmentation, stimulate skin to generate collagen and hyaluronic acid, increase radiance by reducing pore size, safely exfoliate and increase cell turnover. Retinol boosts collagen production and encourages epidermal cell renewal, while hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates skin, reducing the effects of overnight water loss.
· Peptides Peptides are made up of a string of amino acids held together by tough bonds of nitrogen and carbon that act as messengers to send out signals which tell the receptors on your skin cells how they should perform. They encourage skin cell growth and collagen production. Peptides are made up of a string of amino acids held together by tough bonds of nitrogen and carbon that act as messengers to send out signals which tell the receptors on your skin cells how they should perform. A few of the most beneficial peptides include palmitoyl pentapeptide-3, which is a peptide that triggers a natural heal-and-repair response that stimulates the development of collagen and elastin, encourages new fibroblast growth, and increases the production of skin cells. Acetyl hexapeptide-3is a powerful wrinkle-reducing peptide that works by hindering a signal protein called catecholamine that triggers muscle contraction, thereby relaxing your facial muscles.
· Melatonin plays a key role in rejuvenating skin by stimulating the growth of major skin cells such as keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Fibroblasts produce the essential proteins collagen and elastin, which provide structural support for the skin. Melatonin has also been shown to be effective against skin aging. It has powerful antioxidant properties by quenching mainly hydroxyl radicals, the most damaging of all radicals.
Exfoliation at night is so important because it essentials “takes off the day” including dead cells, dirt, pollution – all precursors that lead to premature aging. Followed by a night cream that contains super-potent actives. If you suffer from dark circles and puffiness, we also recommend doubling up on your eye cream morning and night and ensure your night time treatment features ingredients that increase microcirculation.
Sleep with your head slightly elevated. Fluid retention occurs while we sleep because we are lying flat and circulation can be affected. Excess sugar, salt and alcohol will add to fluid retention. Consumption of all these pollutants can escalate swelling and puffiness to the eyes and face.
Make your room a successful sleeping area.
· Cool room temperature
· Silk pillow case-softer and less absorbent than cotton or polyester, silk won’t dry skin out and also causes less pulling and tugging if you’re a face sleeper.
· Noise machine- used to calm babies and help them sleep, noise machines can be beneficial for falling asleep as well as staying asleep
· Keep your phone, tablet etc. in the other room