How Sleep Affects Your Skin

Beauty Sleep. We’ve all heard the term but is there any truth behind it? Well, it turns out that there are a lot of benefits that come from getting enough shut eye, and those can impact your skin’s appearance and health overall. So we’ve diving in to understand how sleep affects the skin and why those quality zzzzz’s can result in a brighter, more youthful complexion.

Sleep skin science

During the day our bodies work hard to defend us against damaging UV rays and free radicals. But when we sleep our bodies go into repair mode—it’s when memories are consolidated, our brain clears out waste products, and our skin has the best opportunity to repair and regenerate itself.

When we don’t get enough sleep it puts our bodies into a state of low-grade stress. This triggers the release of cortisol,1 our fight-or-flight hormone, which produces inflammation throughout our body. Inflammation is always bad news when it comes to our skin. It compromises our immune system,2 affecting moisture levels in your skin and aggravating conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

But what about those baggy eyes? When we get enough sleep our bodies are better able to flush out excess fluid from the area under the eyes. When we don’t the fluid that’s accumulated remains, resulting in that dreaded puffy eye look.3

So now that we know that sleep affects your skin, how can we set ourselves up for a solid sleep sesh?

Sleep tips for better skin

1. Break a sweat. As long as it doesn’t cut into our sleep schedule, anytime is a good time for exercise. Thirty to forty-five minutes of pulse-raising, vigorous exercise will do the most to reduce stress and prep our body for a restful night sleep.

2. Power down. Our electronics, including the light they emit, turn on our brain, which can make it hard to turn off and fall asleep. So turn your alarm on, but turn the rest off at least thirty minutes before bedtime.

3. Avoid sneaky snacks. We get it—we all get a little snacky sometimes. But as a best practice try to eat your last significant meal a few hours before bedtime and avoid spicy and hard to digest foods late at night.

4. Keep it cave-like. But, a nice cave. Experiment with the temperature, but studies have shown that a room that’s between 60 and 67 degrees makes for a better night’s sleep.4 And draw the shades and turn off electronics; those pesky blue lights can pass through our eyelids, inhibiting melatonin and compromising our sleep.

5. Keep it consistent. When it comes to our sleep, habit and routine are our friends. A sleep schedule helps set our body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up. This includes weekends (unfortunately).

6. Get your OMs on. A wind down routine helps prepare us for sleep. There are lots of great options to help us decompress including reading, deep breathing, light stretching, yoga, listening to calming music, and mediation.

Upgrade your wind down

There may not be no magic bullet for a better night’s sleep. But besides the hacks we’ve listed there’s another great way to prep yourself for some solid REMs. We’re talking, of course, about your skincare. This doesn’t have to mean an hour masking; consistently taking five minutes to properly to take the day off and apply a soothing hydrator can make a big difference.

If you’re hunting for the perfect skincare routine, you’ve come to the right place. At Kura we use a quick quiz and a smart algorithm to help match you to the best skincare for your unique needs—no legwork required. Just head to and we’ll build a clean skincare routine around you.

Sleep certainly affects your skin, but there are plenty of other ways to get that glow beyond the skincare products. Check out our posts on what to eat for healthier skin and why you should really change your pillowcase more often.

  1. Sleep Loss Results in an Elevation of Cortisol Levels the Next Evening [PubMed]
  2. Sustained Sleep Deprivation Impairs Host Defense [PubMed]
  3. How Sleep Improves your skin [National Sleep Foundation]
  4. Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm [PubMed]
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