Beauty Sleep is neither a myth nor a fairy tale; there is much science behind the idea that beauty and sleep are intrinsically linked. Once you understand more about the Sleep Cycle and what your body is doing while asleep, you can learn how it supports your skincare routine, and get the maximum benefit out of your sleep.
The Sleep Cycle
The Sleep Cycle is made of four main stages; Non-REM sleep (Stages 1, 2 & 3) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The first sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes. After that, they average between 100 to 120 minutes. Typically, an individual will go through four to five sleep cycles a night.
Stage One is the lightest stage of our non-REM sleep. This is as you start to feel drowsy and drift into sleep, but can easily be awakened. This phase can often last for 5 - 10 minutes.
This is where your heart rate slows and your body temperature continues to drop. Your body is getting ready for deep sleep and awakenings or arousals do not occur as easily.
This is known as deep Non-REM sleep. It is harder to wake you when you are in stage three and if you are woken, you would be groggy and disoriented for a few minutes.Stage three is the most restorative stage of sleep, the body will repair and grow tissue, build bone and muscle and strengthen the immune system. As you get older you tend to sleep more lightly, therefore missing out on a lot of the benefits of the stage three deep sleep.
REM sleep normally happens about 90 minutes after you have fallen asleep. The first period of REM will usually only last about 10 minutes, but this does get longer with every sleep cycle. You heart rate and breathing quickens and you have rapid eye movements from side to side. The brain waves are more active during REM sleep which is why you can have vivid dreams. It can be easier to wake someone in a REM stage of sleep, but they will wake up feeling groggy and tired.
How Sleep Affects The Skin
During the day our skin is in defence mode, trying to minimise the effects that UV damage, environmental stresses, pollutions, cigarette smoke, big changes in temperature and wearing makeup can have on our skin. But at night the skin goes into recovery mode, where it can regenerate up to three times faster than it does during the day.
Around 9pm our skin starts to wind down as we start to get sleepy. This is the time before we go to sleep when melatonin - the sleep hormone, increases the skin's ability to repair itself and counteract the damage that has been done during the day. It also makes us feel tired and ready for bed.
HGH (the human growth hormone) also comes into its own whilst we are asleep. During 11pm and 4am our cell production can double, sometimes even triple, and the HGH is responsible for accelerating the skin's repair and cell regeneration - thanks HGH!
The skin is also more permeable during the night, this means that it is more receptive to any skincare products that you apply before bed. But is also means that the transepidermal water loss through the skin is at its highest and we lose a lot of moisture during the morning phase.
How To Apply This To Your Skincare Routine
It is a great idea to use products with active ingredients before bed as your skin can absorb them better as they are less effective when exposed to sunlight. Products containing Vitamin E
and anti-aging ingredients are great for this.
is another great way to aide your skin overnight. You should apply it to clean skin in the evening, it deeply hydrates the skin and reduces the effect of overnight water loss.
In the morning you can use our Organic Acai & Geranium Balancing Facial Creme
which will help to re-hydrate the skin after sleep. It will also calm and soothe irritated skin whilst reducing inflammation and rebuilding the weakened skin barrier, ready for the day ahead.