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This is How Lack of Sleep Might Be Affecting Your Appearance

lack of sleep appearance

Presumably, we all would agree on two things. These are the undeniable importance of sleep and appearance.

While sleep is an essential part of life along with breathing and eating, appearance might be almost equally important in this modern, technology-based world.

So to speak, people are competing with each other to appear at their best on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok where facial and physical appearance matter a lot.

Briefly, the norms and rules of the modern world almost dictate us to take care of our appearance. In fact, this appearance-oriented world explains why we introduce appearance as important as sleep.

On the other hand, it would be time-wasting to explain the importance of sleep in our lives.

Since sleep is vital; sleep problems and disorders can impact the body in many ways. For instance; long term sleep problems can take a toll on your face, which is arguably the most important component of human appearance. 

In this article, we are going to discuss these two important phenomenons namely sleep and appearance. To be more precise, we will discuss the consequences of sleep deprivation on your appearance.

Bear in mind that sleep deprivation can impact both your facial and physical appearance. However, the focus of this article will be the negative effects of sleep deprivation on facial appearance.

Without further ado, here are the 6 common consequences of sleep deprivation on (facial) appearance. 


1- Looking Tired

Throughout your life, like everybody, you too have had many sleepless nights due to various reasons such as stress, noise, diseases, to name but a few. In fact, the main point here is that sleep is a delicate process thus can be affected easily by external and internal factors.

When you don’t get a restorative sleep at night, the following day your face looks tired and it gives people a clue about your sleep quality from the last night.

Scientific studies confirm the fact that sleep deprivation can cause a tired facial appearance (1),(2).

This mainly stems from sleep deprivation prevents the skin from retaining enough water to stay hydrated. As such, the face looks tired after a sleepless night.

Additionally, this decreased hydration level impacts the elasticity of the skin thus paving the way for a crinkled or leathery facial appearance (3).

What’s more, pores may appear larger than they should be when you don’t sleep well at night (4).


2- Dry Skin

As mentioned in the previous section one of the consequences of sleep deprivation is dehydrated skin, simply put; dry skin. If you have skin that is prone to get dry, lack of sleep can worsen the situation (dry skin). Especially in the winter months the skin easily can get dry. 

Your skin can tolerate a couple of sleepless nights. However, if your sleep problems are constant, that can decrease the hydration level of the skin thereby, leaving the skin dry (5).

Most of the time, dry skin is not a serious condition. However, it can literally damage your facial appearance by causing the skin, mainly the face, to appear tired and chapped. 

As mentioned lack of sleep is one of the main causes of dry skin along with other reasons. Therefore creating the best environment to sleep will improve your life in many ways. But, good nights of sleep will also improve your appearance by keeping skin hydrated.


3- Dark Circles

There can be various reasons for the dark circles under the eyes. According to scientific studies; sleep deprivation is one of the causes of dark circles (6),(7).

Aside from, scientific approach; you, yourself, must have realised many times in your life that dark circles formed under your eyes when looked at yourself in the mirror after a sleepless night.

Sleeping less than 6-7 hours cause the blood vessels located under the eyes to enlarge. And, these swollen blood vessels cause the under-eye area to appear dark. 

It is important to note that the skin around the eyes is rather thin and fragile compared to other parts of the body (8). Therefore, blood vessels in this area can be easily visible especially after a sleepless night.


4- Wrinkles

Soon or later, every individual will notice wrinkles on their faces, this is an unavoidable life cycle. However, some factors are known to speed up the formation of these wrinkles. 

According to scientific studies; suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep deprivation for a long time may bring about premature wrinkles along with other skin changes (9),(10).

However, what we should emphasise in this situation is that chronic – long term sleep problem set the stage for skin wrinkles.

So it is safe to say that, every now again, having a couple of sleepless night wouldn’t trigger wrinkle formation. It bears repeating, the studies underline chronic and long term sleep problems. 

If your sleep quality and quantity is constantly low, then this sleep disorder may cause premature wrinkles on your face along with other health problems.


5- Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and most of the time associated with puberty. Having said that; according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association; the rates of acne in adults are on the rise (11).

There can be various underlying reasons why the number of adults with acne is on the rise in recent decades.

Evidence points out that increased sleep disorders such as sleep deprivation or insomnia might be the underlying reason for acne in adults, especially in women (12).

Sleep deprivation is known to trigger the secretion of the cortisol hormone that can bring about acne formation in the skin (13),(14).

The conclusion is sleep deprivation may or may not trigger acne on the skin. However, what’s certain is sleep deprivation leads to stress that is associated with various skin problems including acne.


6- Under-eye Bags

Earlier in this article, we talked about the dark circles that appear under your eyes due mainly to sleep deprivation. However, dark circles are not the only consequences of sleep deprivation that affects the under-eye area.

Like dark circles, under-eye bags too can be a strong indication of poor quality or lack of sleep.

Sometimes dark circles and under-eye bags are thought to be the same thing by many people. Yet, they are different skin conditions. 

As mentioned earlier, the skin under the eyes is quite fragile and thin. Therefore, this area can easily manifest the impacts of sleep deprivation.

According to Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute; when you don’t get a night of restorative sleep, the blood vessel under the eyes dilate and also fluid accumulate beneath in your eyes, both of which cause swelling under eyes that we call it under-eye bags or puffy eyes (15).


The Final Verdict

You don’t need anyone to tell you how lack of sleep affects your appearance. Simply because you have already experienced many times the differences in your facial appearance when you looked at the mirror after a bad night’s sleep.

However, the goal of this article was to remind the immense role of sleep on your appearance which matters a lot in this modern age.

We discussed the 6 main consequences of sleep deprivation on your appearance. These above-given consequences of sleep deprivation on your face can urge you to create the best environment to sleep well.

But, keep in mind that getting quality sleep increase not only your appearance but also the overall quality of your life and your well-being.

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