During the day, the skin protects our body from harmful environmental influences and determines our external appearance. It regenerates itself at night and lack of sleep is not only bad for our health – unfortunately, it is also visible in our eyes. Here you can find out what exactly happens to our skin during sleep and why restful sleep is crucial for a healthy and beautiful complexion.
Table of Contents
- structurestructure & function of the skin
- Skin & Sleep
- Lack of sleep damages the skin
- This is how the skin regenerates while you sleep
- Support for skin health & beauty sleep
Our skin is one of the most important organs in our body and forms the basis for a well-groomed appearance. It covers the entire surface of the body, is one of our sensory organs and represents a vital protective barrier that protects the body from numerous harmful influences. Especially during the day, our skin suffers from the effects of light and UV radiation, heat, cold, injuries and infections. Depending on the time of day, the moisture content, the pH value, the temperature and the activity of the sebum and sweat glands fluctuate. At night, when we rest and sleep, numerous important regeneration processes are running in our body and the skin also recovers from the harmful influences it is exposed to in everyday life. Sufficient and restful sleep is therefore of great importance for the maintenance and care of healthy and strong skin.
Structure & function of the skin
The skin is basically made up of three different skin layers. They each fulfill different functions that are crucial for our health not only externally but also within the body.
1 - Epidermis (upper skin)
The epidermis consists largely of a horny layer and forms the uppermost protective barrier of the skin. It is therefore primarily responsible for the defense against harmful substances and pathogens and also offers mechanical protection against bumps, cuts or blows.
2 - Dermis (skin)
The dermis located under the epidermis consists of connective tissue fibers containing collagen, which are responsible for elasticity and firmness. In the dermis there are also many blood and lymphatic vessels, the sebaceous and sweat glands as well as numerous nerve fibers, vessels and muscle cells.
3 - Subcutis (subcutaneous tissue)
The last layer of skin is made up of loose connective and fatty tissue and separates the skin inside the body from other tissue.
The different layers of the skin take on numerous different functions that are important for our health not only externally, but also within the body. These include, for example, protection against toxins and harmful radiation or the defense against pathogens through the important protective acid mantle. The skin also plays an important role in regulating our body temperature, protects the body from dehydration and high stress caused by intense heat or cold and, as a sensory organ, is able to perceive a wide variety of stimuli (e.g. temperature, pain, pressure). . The skin also fulfills important tasks inside the body. It contains important immune cells, forms vitamin D, which is important for the organism, and is used, among other things, to store water, fat and various metabolic products.
In addition to these tasks, which are crucial for our health, our skin is also decisive for our external appearance.The appearance of our skin is therefore quickly recognizable when we are ill or the body lacks nutrients. An even, smooth complexion is also considered attractive, which is why our appearance and our beauty benefit from healthy skin.
Lack of sleep damages the skin
During the night, our organism breaks down harmful substances and rebuilds the natural protective barriers of the skin, maintains its resilience and elasticity and regulates the moisture content. Important growth hormones are released, which are involved in almost all functions in our body, help to build connective tissue and control enzyme production and cell renewal. Lack of sleep disrupts these natural recovery processes and slows down the skin's own repair mechanisms. If we sleep too little, the body releases more cortisol, known as the "stress hormone", which puts the organism in a state of stress. Too high a cortisol level promotes inflammation in the tissue structures, increases the activity of the sebaceous glands and inhibits the body's own production of hyaluronic acid. Redness, inflammation and increased wrinkling occur. The skin also loses its firmness and moisture, becomes dry and cracked and looks visibly aged. In addition, cortisol damages the skin's barrier function and leads to an increase in blood sugar, particularly in the long term, which strengthens the collagen structures and reduces the elasticity of the skin.
Lack of sleep therefore damages our skin immensely and leaves visible consequences in the short and long term. Our skin loses its resilience, elasticity and moisture. Dark circles appear or the skin appears pale the next day, the defense and protective barrier function is reduced, and there is a higher susceptibility to injury. Restful sleep, on the other hand, helps to maintain healthy skin and also counteracts the natural signs of aging.
This is how the skin regenerates while you sleep
Metabolism and cell renewal
At night and especially during deep sleep phases, growth hormones are increasingly released and the body's own collagen production is running at full speed. In this way, cell renewal in muscles and connective tissue is promoted, old cells are broken down, damaged cells are repaired, harmful substances and degradation products are removed and new cells are built. Our skin is also better supplied with blood at night, so that the metabolism improves, the skin cells are supplied with nutrients and oxygen more effectively and the removal of harmful substances is accelerated.
New studies also assume that the sleep hormone melatonin can have a positive effect on our skin. Melatonin works as an antioxidant and is therefore able to neutralize so-called free radicals inside the body and protect the cells from damage from these aggressive substances and from stress. It also has a positive effect on collagen production and can help protect the skin from UV radiation and the damage it causes, such as wrinkles or pigment spots.
Fat and moisture content
During the day, the skin is exposed to numerous environmental influences, so that the moisture content, the pH value, the temperature and the activity of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which are located in the middle layer of the skin, fluctuate depending on the time of day and stress. At night, these stresses are absent and the activity of the sebaceous glands decreases. Deposits in the skin pores are removed, the fat content of the skin can be regulated and the moisture stores are replenished.
Resilience and elasticity
The body's own substances, collagen and hyaluronic acid, play an important role in the resilience and elasticity of our skin. 80% of our skin consists of the structural protein collagen, whose fibers support the skin layers and ensure firmness. Hyaluronic acid is a main component of the connective tissue and is responsible for a firm complexion and the moisture content of the skin. The production of these important building materials runs at full speed, especially during sleep, so that the resilience and elasticity of our skin is maintained. This prevents the formation of wrinkles and lines and promotes a healthy and firm complexion.
Support for skin health & beauty sleep
In order to support skin regeneration overnight, you should ensure that you get enough sleep, but also that the quality of your sleep is as high as possible. Especially during deep sleep, essential growth hormones are released and the most important repair processes are carried out. Find out here more about the individual sleep phases or read our tips for healthy sleeping behavior. Proper care and an adequate supply of nutrients are also important, especially before sleep, so that the skin is freed from impurities and the body has enough material available for cell repair and renewal. You can find the most important and effective tips on how to prepare your skin for sleep and how to optimally support it in this article.
More about the perfect evening routine and the ideal beauty sleep:
The skin consists of three layers (epidermis, dermis, subcutis) and protects the body from harmful environmental influences such as UV radiation, heat, injuries or infections.
Lack of sleep damages the skin, reduces its barrier ability and impairs a healthy, beautiful complexion.
The skin recovers during sleep and numerous regeneration processes ensure cell repair and renewal, the regulation of fat and moisture content and the maintenance of resilience and elasticity.
Greetings and see you soon!