We hear the term "beauty sleep" get thrown around a lot, many times in fun. But there's a lot more truth to this concept than many of us realize! We all know that a night or two without good sleep can lead to dark circles and a haggard demeanor, but over time, disturbed sleep can wreak absolute havoc on our appearance. And new research shows just how much damage it can cause.
This new research out of Sweden sheds some light on how poor sleep affects energy metabolism. And our metabolism has a much bigger impact on our looks than we might expect.
The researchers have gathered quite a bit of data and found that when people are sleep-deprived, their hormones shift. Levels of ghrelin, which signals hunger, increase, while satiety hormones decrease. Levels of appetite-stimulating endocannabinoids rise. And gut bacteria get out of balance. These changes encourage people to eat more food and more calorie-dense food, move less, and be more impulsive in their food choices.
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As you can imagine, these changes easily lead to weight gain, and this research helps explain the mechanism behind the numerous studies linking sleep deprivation and weight creep. These gains can ultimately lead to obesity, though even short periods of sleep deprivation can have negative effects on energy metabolism.
Certainly, adding unwanted pounds isn't great for your appearance. But these hormonal shifts can also cause you to reach for unhealthy calorie-dense foods. We've discussed quite a few times in the past how bad sugar is for your skin and how great whole, unprocessed foods like clean proteins, fruits and micronutrient-dense vegetables are. But when your sleep is suffering, you're a lot more likely to grab a doughnut and sugary coffee for breakfast rather than a bowl of oatmeal or eggs with berries and green tea. And the sugar-laden breakfast won't just affect your weight, it will also age your skin.
The solution is clear: you must prioritize your sleep if you want to look your best. Call it your beauty sleep if you need to - you'll be speaking the truth! If you just aren't making sleep a priority, make an effort to get to bed earlier every night until you're getting a minimum of seven hours. Some people find it helpful to set an alarm to remind them to put down the phone and turn off the light. If you're going to bed at a reasonable time but find that you're tossing and turning or have trouble falling asleep, Pure Sleep may be able to help by supporting your body's natural rhythms and calming your mind.
While you're correcting your sleep habits, you should be extra mindful of your eating habits. Making good choices when you're exhausted is challenging, but it is possible. Know that this will get easier as you get more sleep.
To your health, naturally,