Sleep and skin health- does lack of sleep affect skin?


Does lack of sleep affect your skin health?

The answer is a definite yes. Lack of sleep directly affects skin health. 

To know how, we have to know how normal sleep maintains a healthy skin.

During sleep, our body produces various hormones.

Growth hormone released during sleep promotes growth and repair of various cells in the body including skin cells. It replenishes the skin epithelium and promotes collagen formation, which maintains the shine and suppleness of the skin. 

Melatonin secreted during the onset of sleep is a potent anti oxidant, it prevents and delays ageing, decreases the oxidative damage to cells. Melatonin is inhibited by blue light from screens. 

During sleep there is a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol levels, thus preventing oxidative damage to cells.

So when you are not maintaining sleep hygiene, following changes occur to your skin.

1. Dull skin 

2. Dryness

3. Pigmentation

4. Dark circles

5. Wrinkles

6. Loss of suppleness and skin sagging

7. Grey hairs

That is your skin tends to age faster.

All these changes are because the normally secreted hormones are imbalanced due to lack of adequate sleep.

Reduced melatonin leads to pigmentation of skin, undereye dark circles, more wrinkles, and skin sagging. 

Reduced growth hormone levels leads to early signs of ageing, loss of suppleness, dull and dry skin. 

Increased cortisol levels cause collagen breakdown and sagging of skin and signs of early ageing. Also it causes oxidative damage to skin cells.

So have good sleep routine just as you have a skin care routine. 


1. Set a sleep time suitable for your daily routine and make sure to go to bed during that time every night.

2. Discontinue screen use 1 hour before going to bed, you can read a book or lay out things for tomorrow or spend quality time with your family or write a journal or do simple sleep time stretches or meditation during that 1 hour.

3. Have meals atleast 3 hours before sleep time

4. Warm shower before bed time improves sleep quality

5. Ensure using comfortable beds and bed linen and blankets

6. Wear loose cotton clothes to bed

7. Avoid stimulants like tea, coffee, coke etc before bed time

8. Avoid going to bed on a full stomach

9. Care for your skin by following a simple skin care routine.

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