The Truth About Beauty Sleep Posted by Tiffany Amorosino on December 25, 2012 in

Good quality sleep is essential for many of the body’s vital functions. Going without enough sleep negatively impacts everything from your brainpower and weight, to your mood and appearance. Being tired on a regular basis can even cause premature aging and worsen skin conditions like acne. Unfortunately, stressful modern lifestyles have meant that more and more people are not getting a good night’s sleep.

The Benefits of Getting Adequate Sleep
Recent research carried out in Sweden has shown that the concept of ‘beauty sleep’ is not a myth. The study photographed a group of people after having 8 hours sleep and then again after being awake for 31 hours. Observers judged the sleep-deprived participants to be less healthy and less attractive than their well-rested counterparts.  A lack of rest affects your appearance for several reasons:

  1. Skin repair – Nighttime is when your skin repairs itself most effectively. UV damage, acne scarring, and blemishes can all be healed while you sleep but get worse if you go without.
  2. Weight control – Insomnia is known to disrupt the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which control appetite and fat storage. Many studies have found a link between weight gain and lack of sleep.
  3. Tiredness – Just one sleepless night is enough to cause a washed out complexion, puffy eyes, and dark circles. If bad sleeping habits continue long term, these visible signs of tiredness grow more apparent and can lead to increased stress and headaches.
  4. Avoid premature aging – Insomnia is associated with having high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The hormone causes a breakdown of tissue, which results in sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Getting the Right Amount of Sleep
The amount of sleep you need varies over your lifetime. Your age, health, lifestyle, and physical activity level all have an impact. Most experts suggest getting between 7-8 hours a night, but quality is considered more important than quantity. Establishing a routine is the best way to ensure that you have a deep, fulfilling night’s rest.

The Dangers of Under and Over Sleeping
Under sleeping does not only affect your appearance; it can also worsen diabetes, obesity, and mental acuity. However, the benefits of sleep do not increase the more time you spend in bed. In fact, getting too much sleep can cause headaches and back pain, and has even been linked with heart disease.

Addressing the underlying cause of your sleeping problem can significantly improve your health, appearance, and overall well-being. There are a range of medical conditions that can affect your sleeping pattern, including depression, asthma, and sleep apnea.

Balance Your Sleeping Patterns with Massage
Serotonin affects our appetite, mood, behaviors, temperature, coordination, and sleep. An ongoing imbalance of serotonin levels will lead to increased levels of fatigue and stress which not only affect your appearance but your health.

The association serotonin plays to a good night’s sleep has been repeatedly proven. A study on back pain by the Touch Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Miami School of showed that in addition to decreased pain, those who received massage therapy also benefited from improved sleep and increased serotonin levels.

This research isn’t surprising to anyone who has ever had a professional massage and experienced how relaxing massage can be. Many people fall asleep during a massage as serotonin increases, tension subsides and pain is alleviated – and those benefits last through bedtime and days beyond.

If your sleep patterns are irregular call Bella Sante Day Spa for an appointment. A twice-weekly 50-minute massage or (for those with less time) a once-weekly 80 minute massage for five weeks is a healthy and substance free solution that can greatly improve your sleep, improve your overall well-being and get you back on track!

About Bella Sante
Bella Sante, with locations in Wellesley, Lexington and on Newbury Street in Boston, is a premier day spa providing a world-class spa experience and the latest in therapeutic, relaxing spa treatments for men and women in the Massachusetts, Boston Metro area since 1993. For more information, a complete menu of services and booking call 617.424.9930 or visit www.bellasante.com.

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