Sleep is an important part of our lives, and for many people, so is looking youthful. In some cases, these things may be related. Here are some of the most recent studies on sleep and beauty.
Is poor sleep aging your skin?
New research from University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland has found that poor sleepers show increased signs of skin aging and slower recovery from environmental stressors. In addition, poor sleepers thought their own skin and facial appearance looked worse, compared to good sleepers’ assessments of their own skin appearance.
Researchers looked at 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, and half of them qualified as poor sleepers, based on a sleep quality index questionnaire. The study also involved a visual skin evaluation and several non-invasive skin challenge tests, such as UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. Participants also filled out a sleep log for one week.
Using the SCINEXA skin aging scoring system, researchers measured signs of aging in the participants, and found that poor sleepers showed more fine lines, uneven pigmentation, slackening of skin and reduced elasticity. They also found that good sleepers recovered more easily from stressors to the skin, such as sunburn and redness. Lastly, they found that people with poor sleep had a higher body mass index, as 23 percent of good sleepers were obese and 44 percent of poor sleepers were obese.
Researchers said that poor sleep can accelerate signs of aging and weaken the body’s ability to repair the skin at night.
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Could the full moon be a culprit for bad sleep?
If you’re someone who doesn’t get quality sleep, you may be justified, at least a bit, to blame the moon. New research published online in Current Biology suggests that a full moon disrupts sleep quality. Researchers analyzed data from more than 30 healthy volunteers in a sleep lab. The brain activity, eye movements and hormone levels in different phases of sleep were measured while they slept. Neither participants nor researchers knew that the data would then be analyzed against moon cycles. In addition, the participants were not able to see the moon from their beds in the sleep lab.
Researchers found that on nights when there was a full moon, participants did not sleep as well. During the full moon, they found that brain activity associated with deep sleep fell by almost a third. It also took participants five minutes longer on average to fall asleep, their total sleep time was 20 minutes shorter, and they showed a drop in melatonin levels.
Researchers concluded that this response could be a holdover from ancient times, when human behavior was more directly tied to different phases of the moon.
Have you thought about camping to reset your body clock?