Beauty sleep is real.
New research commissioned by the cosmetic company Estée Lauder showed that poor sleepers exhibited increased signs of skin aging when compared to good quality sleepers. The findings were presented earlier this year at the International Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The study also found that inadequate sleep patterns were linked to slower recovery from external stressors, such as ultraviolet (UV) exposure, substandard air quality, and other environmental factors.
“Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown,” said Elma Baron, MD, Director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Baron was the primary investigator on the research study.
The study involved 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of participants falling into the poor quality sleep category. The classification was made on the basis of average duration of sleep and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a standard questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality. The study involved a visual skin evaluation and participation in several non-invasive skin challenge tests including UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. Additionally, participants filled out a sleep log for one week to quantify sleep duration.
The researchers found statistically significant differences between good and poor quality sleepers. Poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and slackening of skin and reduced elasticity.
Additionally, poor quality sleepers were significantly more likely to be obsese. Not surprisingly, self perception of attractiveness was significantly better in good quality sleepers.