Woman having a sound sleep

As a dermatologist the one crucial advice I give everyone is that you must get your 6–8 hours beauty sleep every night. Trust me, beauty sleep—real, deep slumber—is nature’s best defense against skin ageing and a secret to glowing skin. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between the number of hours you sleep and how your skin looks and feels.

As your body rests, the skin repairs itself. When you slip into the second phase of your sleep at night—what we call the delta phase—your hormone levels are at their peak, and that’s when cell repair takes place.

So what happens really is that any damage to the collagen and elastin under your skin that might have taken place due to free radicals are repaired as you sleep. Free radicals are one of the biggest culprits in premature ageing.

Want glowing skin? Then hit the bed every night at around the same time, and sleep well. Give your skin cells time to rest, repair, and restore. If it’s only five hours you can manage every night, then it’s better to sleep early and wake up early than to sleep late and wake up later

As your body rests, the skin repairs itself

Deep sleep = Radiant complexion

Lack of sleep constricts the blood vessels on your face. It looks dull, and lacklustre. Sleep actually helps in collagen production. And you need loads of that for skin that is supple and elastic.

Do you feel tautness in your skin when you wake up? That happens when your skin loses hydration at night as you sleep. All that repair work underneath tends to pull out water from the top layer, that is if your air conditioner spares some.

Do this - Drink at least a glass of water before going to bed and apply a hydrating moisturiser to ensure that your skin does not lose hydration from the outside.

Deep sleep + vitamin enriched night cream = Supple, line-free complexion

You can actually help your skin in its repairing efforts by adding some extra dose of vitamins and essential skin actives. When you wake up your skin will thank you for it. I am sure you will also feel very nice about it too.

Deep sleep + anti-wrinkle under eye cream = Smooth toned, clear sparkling eyes

There's nothing like a good night’s sleep to fight puffy eyes and dark circles. I am sure you have noticed that after a good night’s sleep your eyes look bright, and the under eye area looks smooth and toned. We Indian girls tend to suffer from uneven skin tone, especially under the eyes. This is something you can take care of as you sleep. A little care goes a long way.

Do this - Buy a lightening under eye cream—look for ingredients like licorice and vitamin E. Don’t rub, but dab the cream in circular motion around the area. Go to sleep and wake up with prettier eyes. Go low on salt after sunset. You can also put two pillows to prop yourself. Sleep on your back and not on your sides or stomach.

There's nothing like a good night’s sleep to fight puffy eyes and dark circles

Your pre-sleep prepping routine

  1. Remove make up, and cleanse your face with a cleanser. Use soft cotton pressed pads to wipe away the dirt
  2. Use a face wash to wash off the residue. Exfoliate if you feel the need
  3. Go for deep cleansing shower/bath with exfoliating body wash
  4. Use a muslin cloth/ towel to dab your face and body. It retains water in the skin without leaving it wet
  5. Put on your under eye cream, dab and leave it to soak into the skin
  6. Apply an AHA-based hand and body lotion. Slather it on nicely. Massage gently till the lotion soaks in. Apply your foot cream as well
  7. Massage a rich night cream all over your face, neck, and décolletage in upward and circular motion
  8. Drink a glass of warm water before going to bed.

The Sleep Pattern

First three hours: You get the deepest sleep of the night. Your body produces the most human growth hormones, which are crucial to skin and hair repair.

Middle two hours: Deep sleep shortens and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins. Melatonin, a hormone that’s also a skin-protecting antioxidant, increases.

You may also like: The sleep-skin connection

Last three hours: This is when you get the most REM sleep. Your skin’s temperature reaches its lowest point and your muscles relax, giving your skin its deepest recovery.

Sleeping positions: Be mindful of your sleeping positions. Always sleep on your back. Compressing your face against the pillow will cause more creases, alter facial shape, and cause acne.

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