Do you ever wake up after a full 9 hours sleep, catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, and think, "DAMN, I look fabulous today!?" Your skin seems clearer, eyes brighter and those pesky wrinkles around your eyes even seem less visible. It may seem like an optical illusion, but studies have shown that naps could have a similar effect to a facelift.
If you’re not getting a full 7-9 hours of sleep a night, when are you making up the time? If you’re not sleeping properly, you’re not giving your skin & body a chance to repair itself overnight. The solution? Daily naps may become your new #bff.
Scientists from the National Sleep Foundation say “naps are a must-try modern-day solution to our perpetual sleep shortage and offer a great energy-rejuvenation break”. Whilst we all know naps are great for a quick energy burst, can they actually help with skincare? According to The NSF scientists, they can – “Our cells grow and repair while we sleep and our immune system is strengthened by sleep which helps slow the ageing process”.
According to author & dermatologist, Doris Day, naps can actually counteract ageing, and the whole body goes into repair mode when we sleep. The saying “Make sure you get your beauty sleep” isn’t just a casual saying, there is actual truth behind it.
When we sleep, we release growth hormone, which inhibits cortisol and helps to boost your immune system, reduce stress and anxiety (goodbye frown lines!) and aids in muscle repair. Not only can sleep slow down the ageing process, but if you get enough of it, it can change your health entirely.
If you’re not getting a full 7-9 hours sleep, you may be questioning… what exactly is it doing to my skin? Here’s the SHORTlist of what is happening to your skin without enough sleep:
- Less collagen reproduction during the night means duller, flat skin that is more likely to wrinkle. Only getting 5 hours sleep a night can lead to twice the wrinkles in some cases.
- While you sleep, your body boosts blow flow through your skin, which gives beautiful, rosy cheeks. Skip your sleep and you’ll be left with a lifeless, dull complexion.
- Dark circles will become normal. Puffy eyes are one of the first things people notice when they haven’t slept enough, which is why sleep = beauty.
- Your skin becomes imbalanced, where moisture levels in your skin are decreased and your complexion’s pH levels lower. This means your skin won’t ‘glow’, and you’re more likely to suffer from breakouts, redness and an uneven skin tone.
So you’ve worked out that hey, maybe I should actually be sleeping a LOT more – but how? If you’ve never been good at taking naps, here are our top tips:
- Six hours after you wake up is the optimal time for a cheeky nap, as you’re tackling the mid-day slump.
- Got a spare 90 minutes? According to Dr. Sara Mednick, a sleep research and author, that’s the magic number for a nap. “The reason for this is because in a 90-minute nap, you go through all the major sleep stages: stage two sleep, slow-wave sleep and REM sleep”. Dr Mednick explains, “You’re going to get the benefits of increased attention, memory consolidation, cardiovascular improvements, decreased depression and also better metabolism.”
- Don’t feel tired? Try just lying down and closing your eyes. Even if you don’t fall asleep, or think you don’t, it’s quite likely that you actually have gotten some sleep. Just a mental break can help, even if you cannot fall properly asleep.
Sleep is essential for our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and here at Koala HQ we love our sleep. We take our beauty sleep very seriously, and hope you do too.
Sweet dreams, koalas.