Sleep plays a very important role in your skin’s health. A good night’s sleep helps to restore the body, encouraging it to build a strong immune system, which is vital in fighting against acne. Getting sufficient sleep does not mean you won’t get acne. But it does mean that your acne lesions will clear more quickly, as the infection is brought under control.
During your sleep, the skin cells are nourished and regenerated, so that your body literally restores itself while you are sleeping. The body absorbs free radicals from environmental factors including diet, exercise, stress, pollution, caffeine, smoking and alcohol during the day. It is at night and during sleep that the body is able to detoxify.
However, if sleep patterns are disturbed or shortened, hormone levels are affected and your body is unable to restore itself back to its equilibrium. This results in excess sebum being produced and more acne lesions, along with moodiness, lack of concentration and low energy levels.
Lack of sleep causes acne as lack of sleep raises stress and anxiety levels, making it more difficult for you to deal with the daily stresses you normally encounter. Once your stress levels are raised your hormone levels are affected, as are sebum production and blocked pores, creating a fresh vicious cycle of acne.
Teenagers like to sleep late and get up late, which is all very well during the school holidays. However, when they are at school or college, and particularly during exam periods, going to bed late will be detrimental to their skin health.
It is therefore important to advise your teen to establish a regular sleeping pattern and making sure he or she gets six to eight hours’ sleep a day.
Besides getting a good night’s sleep, you will need to pay attention to sleep wear and bed linen too. If your clothes are too tight and rub against your skin, they may irritate it and spots will appear. Likewise, bedlinen should be clean, particularly your pillowcases if you have facial acne.
Lying with your skin against the linen can cause irritation. A clean pillowcase will help to minimize the spread of bacteria and infection. You may want to try sleeping on anti-dust-mite linen, mattresses and pillows, to minimize getting acne from skin irritants.