Why Sleep Is the Best Skin Treatment cre :CHOSUN
People spend roughly one-third of their life sleeping, which helps the body regenerate and take a rest for the next day. That is why a good night's sleep is a prerequisite for beautiful skin.
◆ Aging Prevention
Hormone injections have become popular as a wonder drug to maintain youth. They are said to delay ageing by supplementing insufficient hormones and thus helping the metabolism. But they need to be injected again and again and cost a lot of money. "Sleeping well has the same effect as powerful hormone injections," says Dr. Han Jin-gyu of the Seoul Sleep Clinic.
While sleeping, the body secretes various hormones including the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and adrenocorticotropic hormones controlling stress. Of these, the growth hormone is the most important. It is associated with height, but after the growth stage it begins to play other roles, such as helping cells regenerate and relieving stress. Hyaluronic acid, the natural moisturizing factor contained in growth hormone, also helps skin to absorb water molecules. That's why after a good night's sleep skin looks moist and glowing.
◆ Natural Whitening
To have a clear, shining skin people resort to sunblock creams and whitening cosmetics. But without sound sleep it is hard to get desired results. Besides inducing sleep, melatonin also has a whitening effect by hampering the function of pigment cells. But melatonin is not always secreted at a constant level.
The body begins to secrete it as people fall asleep, and it reaches the highest levels around 2 a.m. while people are in deep sleep. Melatonin secretion plunges to meager levels from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. That suggests that it's better to sleep from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. if possible. "People are advised to sleep an average 7.5 hours a day.
"But, sleeping that amount of time does not necessarily mean you had a good sleep. Quality is as important as quantity. The proper ratio of duration of a good sleep to that of a light sleep is 3 to 1," Han said. For healthy skin, it is important to have a quality sleep for an adequate amount of time.
◆ Dangers of Oversleeping
After days of not enough sleep people often try to "catch up." But that causes them to start the following day in bad shape with coarse-looking skin and dark circles below the eyes -- the same symptoms that appear after staying up all night. The reason is that oversleeping causes the heart rate to fall and blood to circulate slowly.
Low body temperature prevents the sweat glands and sebaceous glands from functioning smoothly, breaking the balance of moisture and oil in the skin.
Ideally an adult should sleep for an average of seven to eight hours, or at least six hours a day. Sleeping for 10 hours or more can result in unhealthy skin.