By Dana Tye Rally
Think the secret to good looks, a sharp mind and vibrant health exists only in your dreams? According to the latest research, you might be right.
They call it “beauty rest” for a reason: if your complexion looks dull, chances are you’re not spending enough time in bed. “An unfortunate side effect of sleep debt is that it ages the skin more rapidly,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto-based Dermatologist. During “delta sleep”- the deeper half of the two-stage sleep cycle that repeats itself throughout the night -growth-hormone levels are at their peak, directing cells to repair damaged tissues, including skin. “Some of the damage that contributes to premature aging is repaired at this stage,” says Kellett. But when you lose sleep, not only do you miss out on this regenerative period but your cortisol (stress-hormone) levels are boosted, which can make skin look older. If that’s not reason enough to hit the sack, consider this: “When you sleep, antioxidant repair of the skin occurs, which might reduce your risk of developing skin cancer,” says Kellett.