In Singapore, keeping late hours — whether you’re working late or enjoying a night out on the town — is a common affair. And then we drag ourselves out of bed in the morning, make it through the morning commute and get to the office with just minutes to spare! While you may not think too much about the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation in your teens or early twenties, the consequences of poor sleeping habits will slowly but surely rear its ugly head — if not in your thirties, then surely the forties.
For example, did you know that sleep deprivation can:
Worsen Skin Inflammation
When you are sleep deprived, your body produces excessive amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol serves many important purposes in the body. For example, it is what triggers your fight-or-flight instincts and in the right amounts, it maintains your blood pressure and keeps inflammation at bay. But when you are sleep-deprived — as many of us are — your adrenal glands respond by producing more cortisol, which can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your skin (and your general health, for that matter). Many studies have already linked poor sleep habits to skin conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. And to make matters worse, the irritating itch that comes with these conditions will make sleeping all the more difficult, which in turn, worsens your skin condition even more. So don’t take sleep for granted and prevent this vicious cycle from happening in the first place by making sleep a priority.
Reduce Collagen Production
It is during deep sleep that our body repairs itself. And sleep helps to stimulate the production of collagen, which is essential for keeping your skin smooth, plump and supple, and plays a major role in maintaining your skin’s youthful appearance.
Cause Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles
Who hasn’t experienced those dreaded dark circles under our eyes after those heady late-night drinks at the club until 3 am in the morning? The lack of sleep leads to the dilation of blood vessels under the skin of our eyes. Fluids can also leak, causing the puffy effect that we try so hard to avoid. How do you avoid this problem? Drink more water and head to bed as soon as possible!
Result in Sallow Skin
Plump and pink cheeks are all part of what makes a glowing and youthful complexion. But when you don’t get your quota of beauty sleep, there is a reduction of blood flow to the skin around your face, resulting in a colourless and pale visage. Not ideal.
Lead to Weight Gain
Studies have linked the lack of sleep to more snacking and late-night binging. It seems that when you get sufficient sleep, you are less likely to feel hungry. Besides, it makes sense that going to bed early can help you avoid the urge to reach out for that decadent late-night snack.
Tips on Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Experts recommend an average of eight hours of sleep, in order for you to wake up smiling and refreshed. Here are some tips to help you get a restful night’s sleep and achieve that glowing complexion!
Drink More Fluids
Make sure to consume plenty of water during the day, so you stay well hydrated. While everyone is different, you should be looking at downing at least two litres of water per day. So drink plenty of water throughout the day, but avoid consuming too much of it during the night, or you might be waking up for trips to the bathroom, and disturbing your much-needed sleep!
Skip Heavy Meals at Night
Singaporeans are known for being foodies and we don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a big buffet spread. But, eating a huge meal before bedtime is a massive no-no, if you are interested in having a decent night’s sleep. So think twice before indulging in that second dessert!
Include Magnesium-rich Foods in Your Diet
Research shows that magnesium is a mineral that can help with sleep issues. So if you are someone who has trouble sleeping, think about including foods that are rich in magnesium in your diet, such as bananas, raspberries, spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans, salmon and tuna.
Lay on Clean Sheets
Sleep on cool cotton bedsheets and make sure to launder them frequently to keep away the bedbugs and dust mites. Also, choose a gentle detergent that will not irritate your skin.
Keep Smart Devices Out of the Bedroom
We all do it. We lie in bed and scroll through our Facebook and Instagram feeds, or catch up on our favourite programmes. But the excessive stimulation caused by staring at our electronic devices, be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop, actually makes you more alert and consequently, makes it that much harder to fall asleep. So do yourself a favour, switch off that smart device and wind down.
As you can see, there’s a reason why they call it beauty sleep!