I'm a doctor – how to sleep your way to wrinkle-free skin, less stress, and why 'catching up' at the weekend is a myth | The Sun

IF you thought beauty sleep was a myth, be prepared to spend more time on your mattress.

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed might start your day off on the wrong foot, but not spending enough time in that bed will throw off your own natural beauty routine.

With sleep helping to contribute to better skin – and with its own anti-aging benefits – it’s possible to dream away your wrinkled decollete.

Who needs a surgeon when you have sleep specialist Dr. Shelby Harris, who is also the director of Sleepopolis, the leading sleep site in the country.

According to Dr. Harris, you should be counting your hours of sleep instead of counting sheep.

Because getting enough sleep can go skin deep – and beyond.

“Sleep is a natural remedy for maintaining youthful skin,” Dr. Harris told The U.S. Sun.

To get these beauty benefits, she explained that most adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Of course, factors such as lifestyle, genetics, health conditions, stress, and mental well-being can influence and contribute to our sleep needs.

Dr. Harris shared how getting enough hours of rest can also rewind the clock – and reawaken your own inner Sleeping Beauty.

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Deep sleep can indeed help prevent deep wrinkles.

“Sleep contributes to better skin health and anti-aging by promoting skin repair, collagen production, healthy blood flow, hormone regulation, reduced inflammation, skin hydration, and stress reduction," she said.

"Adequate sleep supports cellular rejuvenation, helps maintain skin elasticity, and reduces the risk of skin issues like inflammation, acne, and wrinkles."

And the effects of sleep don't stop there, they work "by enhancing blood flow and oxygenation, maintaining hydration balance, reducing inflammation, and aiding in immune system support."

It also reduces cortisol levels, sleep helps to combat wrinkles and other facial problem areas.

She explained that there is no need to stress about skincare when you can simply sleep your stress away – that's because getting enough good sleep leads to less stress, one of the factors that can cause changes in your skin.

For the best anti-aging results, your new skincare routine will now involve an established sleep schedule.

All the plan – which doesn't involve any pricey products – will require is to implement a calming exercise before bed and stay consistent with your sleep time.

The most beneficial beauty sleep accessories to enhance your body's natural methods include a sleeping mask and, if you’re a side sleeper, satin or silk pillowcases are also recommended.

Still, Dr. Harris emphasized that sleeping on your back is ideal.

You should also consider using a supportive mattress and pillow, and opt for breathable, natural bedding.

For the ultimate – and smoother skin-inducing slumber – she spoke of how your sleep surroundings should be as serene as possible.

“Maintain a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom environment with blackout curtains and white noise if necessary,” explained the sleep doctor, whose tips don't require any surgical tools.

Getting an adequate number of sleep also supports our overall health – including mental health and well-being.

"Sleep helps our body repair and recover, supports cognitive function, regulates emotions, manages stress, maintains physical health, balances hormones, and aids in brain detoxification,” said the sleep expert of your dreams.

It further boosts the immune system and promotes longevity.

Inadequate sleep on the other hand can lead to negative effects on mood, cognitive abilities, immune function, and overall health.”

Now that we know it’s possible to get beautified from some extra time in bed, Dr. Harris dispels some of the actual myths and misconceptions about sleep.

Do you think you can catch up on sleep after missing your regular snoozes?

Think again – or your skin won’t get the same glow when you get up in the morning.

Here are some of the other most common man-made myths.

Snoring is harmless, sleeping less increases productivity, alcohol improves sleep, sleeping pills solve sleep problems, naps indicate laziness, uninterrupted sleep is ideal, and more sleep is always better.

Dr. Harris also enjoys talking about one of the most shocking – and true facts about sleep.

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"During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, your brain releases chemicals that temporarily paralyze your muscles to prevent you from acting out your dreams.

"Sometimes, people experience sleep paralysis, where they’re waking up out of sleep and their muscles haven’t turned on yet so they’re temporarily paralyzed. It can last a few seconds to a minute."

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