Sleep and Your Skin

According to a new article, lack of sleep can double the signs of ageing skin and make it harder to recover from sunburn.

A new US study, which analyzed 60 women aged 30 to 49, showed that those who were poor sleepers had skin with accelerated signs of age including fine lines. Their skin was also slower to recover from sunburn and they were more likely to rate themselves as unattractive. Scientists used tests such as UV light exposure to check for moisture loss – a sign of poor skin quality.

The study, commissioned by Estee Lauder, demonstrated statistically significant differences between good and bad sleepers. Those who had insufficient sleep showed increased signs of skin ageing, with an average score of 4.4 – double the 2.2 average for good sleepers. This means those who slept badly had more fine lines, uneven skin color and slackening of skin.

Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, but its effects on skin function have previously been unknown. The new research shows for the first time that poor sleep quality can accelerate the signs of skin ageing and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.

Dr Daniel Yarosh, of Basic Science Research at Estee Lauder, said: ‘This research shows for the first time that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin ageing and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.’

Tell us: how much sleep do you get each night?