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You must have noticed it after a bad night: the appearance of your face changes. Dark circles, eye bags, wrinkly skin….If a few short nights accentuate the ‘tired’ look, in the long term lack of sleep exposes women to premature skin ageing.
The role of hormones
When one is lacking sleep, the biological rhythms are upset:
- The synthesis of melatonin, the hormone which regulates our sleep/wakefulness rhythm is disturbed, which upsets the whole regenerative process linked to sleep.
- The body produces more cortisol, the “stress hormone’’ which leads to a decrease in the collagen production, one of the principle constituents of the skin. Less supple and firm, the skin ages prematurely.
- There is a decrease in the production of the growth hormone, a production which is yet essential to the skin regeneration. Indeed, it contributes to its healing and thickening. This function is even more important to counter the process of skin ageing because with age, the skin becomes thinner.
The consequences of a lack of sleep
Drawn features, a dull complexion, eye bags or dark circles under the eyes are signs which quickly betray a sleepless night. But the medium and long-term effects of too little sleep or of a bad sleep are also visible, reflected by:
- a more fragile skin, dehydrated and with early wrinkles.
- a duller complexion and dark circles that are more marked due to the decrease of the micro-circulation.
- a thinning of the skin which also becomes more fragile due to a reduction in skin renewal
- a loss of density and skin sagging, due to the reduction in the synthesis of collagen.