Now more than ever we are appreciating the importance of consistent sleep - the age-old adage of 'beauty sleep' is now supported by some serious scientific studies.
The reason sleep is so critical to functions like brain health, but also the health of our skin, and making us look better is primarily that it is when healing, replenishment and rebuilding take place.
For example, one recent dermatological study found that those who consistently slept 7-9 hours had skin that was better hydrated (the skin was able to restore moisture to the cells) and better at repairing after environmental damage (like exposure to sunlight).
The eye area is especially vulnerable to lack of sleep since the skin around the eye area is thinner and the blood vessels are closer to the surface of the skin than the rest of the face. So our eyes are often the first place that reveals a particularly bad night's sleep when our body hasn't been able to heal, replenish and rebuild.
The first signs of little sleep will almost always appear around the eye area. Bloodshot eyes and dark under eyes or 'eye circles' are often the first giveaways. Both occur because the body is not able to reach optimum levels of blood flow around the eye area when sleep is interrupted and so the vessels dilate to try to restore balance - and, as a result, appear more obvious.
Puffy eyes or 'eye bags' are another common side effect of lack of sleep. For similar reasons, the fluid around the eyes is not able to flow as it should and gets retained in the space around the eyes, causing this puffiness. Little-to-no sleep can also cause a sallow or pale complexion as the cells within the skin aren't able to replenish with optimum levels of moisture and nourishment.
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