A century ago, “beauty sleep” originally referred to sleep that started before midnight. Often, people who stayed up until late hours looked haggard. And that’s still true today.
Sleep deprivation is a form of stress. Stressful conditions like illness, trauma, and emotional hardship cause your body to make more steroids. Steroids decrease the formation of collagen, which keeps your skin looking young and wrinkle-free. Increased steroids also weaken the skin barrier allowing toxins to penetrate or wounds to heal more slowly.* So, getting enough sleep, really does make you more beautiful.
Getting enough sleep is important, but getting sleep before midnight can also make a big difference. It’s been said that every hour before midnight counts for double the time spent sleeping after midnight. Scientifically, that may be up for discussion. However, the deepest and most regenerative sleep has been proven to occur between 10 pm and 2 am. After 2 am, sleep becomes more superficial. Going to bed late will make it harder to fall asleep and may also contribute to waking up feeling less refreshed.
Deep within your brain, the pineal gland works as an internal clock. As the sun sets, the optic nerve in your eyes senses the darkness and sends a message to the pineal gland. The pineal gland secretes a hormone, melatonin, to prepare your body for sleep. Typically, within a couple hours of sunset you will begin to feel tired.
Most people who stay up past 10 o’clock are working on the internet or watching TV. These activities create an exposure to light which interrupts the production of melatonin. This interference causes a difficulty in falling to sleep, a confused internal clock, or even a “second wind” of energy.
Going to bed by 10 o’clock will have an enormous impact on your quality of sleep. If you’re not currently going to bed that early, try to go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each week until you meet your goal. Also, try waking up by 6:00 am so that your body will be tired by 10:00 pm.
You’ll not only wake up more relaxed and refreshed,
you’ll wake up more beautiful!