Maybe it’s an age thing. The older I get, the more I look forward to cozying up in bed at night. I just can’t wait to enjoy my eight hours of blissful slumber. Plus, don’t we all feel a bit more beautiful and energized after a good night’s sleep? Turns out, that feeling isn’t just in our heads — “beauty sleep” is a real phenomenon.
A few years back, a British sleep study funded by the mattress company Sealy concluded that well-rested people were more attractive. Participants were pretty specific, self-reporting:
42% brighter eyes
21% brighter complexion
20% clearer skin
17% fewer wrinkles
11% improved skin condition
Well, that’s time well spent!
Sleep experts, unsurprisingly, second that opinion. Our downtime provides the body time to regenerate. Some doctors go a step further, suggesting that it is during our approximately four hours of non-REM sleep that the magic happens. Our skin gets busy repairing itself. If all goes well, we wake up looking fresh and bright in the morning.
The flip side is also true. People who are sleep-deprived look, um, a little less good. A different study which involved about two dozen sleep-deprived adults was also published recently. They were photographed, then visually judged by 65 untrained observers, who rated the photos.
The consensus was that sleep deprived people looked less healthy, less attractive, and more tired than rested individuals.
If it’s something a little more scientific you’re looking for to verify the “beauty sleep” premise, here are some of the reported beauty benefits:
Wrinkles: Skin produces new collagen while we sleep.
Bright Complexion: Blood flows to the skin while we sleep.
Healthy Hair: Again, blood flow to the scalp nourishes hair.
My favorite secret weapon for the perfect night’s sleep is my luxury pillowcase. Don’t even get me started — I’ve been hooked for years. In my opinion, the breakthrough product in this space is the Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase which I bought at Nordstrom.
The manufacturer, Slip, touts it as a beauty secret preferred by dermatologists. People who use the Slip pillowcase report better-hydrated skin, reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, and even better hair volume and quality. I believe the rationale is that the silky smooth fabric creates less friction. The lack of friction, or pulling that you might experience with cotton or polyester linens, results in fewer creases, wrinkles, and stray hairs.