Sleep and your Appearance

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The world record for longest period of time spent awake was set back in 1965 buy a 17 year old high school student. Randy Gardner participated in a science fair experiment in which he stayed awake for 264 hours, which equals to 11 days. Other experiments have also been done, but none have been as successful as Gardner’s 11 days. Most experiments fell short by a few days, resulting in the participant being awake for eight to ten days.

Now, while this is some fascinating science, I think that these participants are completely out of their minds for voluntarily giving up something so precious. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should… Especially when it comes to your health and, yes, this is a little shallow, but people really take these things into consideration, your appearance.


I’m sure we have all heard the saying “we need our beauty sleep,” right? Well, it isn’t just a saying… We really do need our beauty sleep, not only to remain beautiful, but it is also very beneficial to our health as well. When we sleep, our body uses this time to recover and repair from the day; and just like our bodies, our skin does the same thing. While you are sleeping, your body takes the time to remove dead blood, brain, and skin cells to make room for new, healthier cells. If you are not getting the proper amount of sleep, this process is interrupted. Lack of sleep can lead to your skin becoming imbalanced – which then leads to dehydration, redness and breakouts, – dark circles, even hair loss.

There have been numerous accounts as to why we should drink plenty water throughout the day – one of them being that it’s good for the skin. If you are not getting enough sleep, drinking any amount of water in the world will not help your skin achieve that “natural glow” look. Not getting enough sleeps depletes the moisture levels within your skin, which leads to dehydration. Dry, brittle skin does not look youthful, and will more than likely lead to redness and irritation. Of course, when your skin is dry and irritated you are more likely to break out. I don’t know about you, but as someone who has struggled with terrible acne all throughout my teenage years, I will do everything possible to avoid any sort of inflammation on my face. So an extra five minutes of sleep it is!

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Sure, those extra five minutes may come in handy, but a lack of too much sleep leads to … *dundundun* dark circles *gasp*! I have never struggled with dark circles, thank goodness! I always knew that a lack of sleep will eventually lead to them, but the actual science behind it is quite fascinating. Lack of sleep puts stress on the body, and the body’s natural response to any type of stress is to redirect blood circulation to the most vital organs – which includes the brain. Because of the extra circulation to the brain, there is an enlargement of the veins found beneath the eyes, and because of that enlargement there are dark circles. Now, please keep in mind that a lack of sleep is just one of many possibilities that can lead to the formation of dark circles. If you feel as if you are getting enough rest, but still have dark circles then the best thing to do is speak with your physician.

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That same stress that can cause your dark circles also takes a toll on you hair. Stress can encourage excess oil production on your scalp, which of course transfers to your hair. You’re lucky if you can go more than a day of dry shampooing the oil away, but with all that extra oiliness, well, Houston, we’ve got a problem. Now, if stress induced oiliness to your hair cause by sleep deprivation is not reason enough to get some more sleep in, than how does hair loss sound? While we sleep, our bodies release the necessary human growth hormone, which does exactly what is says – helps us grow. While we sleep, the hormone melatonin is also released. While melatonin regulates our wake and sleep cycle, it has been shown to also effect the growth of our hair. Meaning that little to no melatonin could possibly result in hair loss. We don’t want to go bald – yes, that is a reach, but just go with me on this one – so, again, five more minutes of sleep it is!

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At the end of the day, we know that we need sleep to function. At different phases of our lives, sleep might be a tad big difficult to come by, and at others it’s the easiest thing in the world. No matter what phase you are at, you should try and make it a priority to get at least seven hours of sleep every night – not just for the numerous reasons that will effect your appearance, but for your health as well.


For more information about the longest period spent awake by Randy Gardner, please see:

For more information on how lack of sleep can/will affect your appearance, please see:

For more information on sleep apnea, please see:

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