Sleepy solution smooths skin and erases wrinkles

Gray hair and wrinkles … these signs of getting older can plague you even when you do your best to look younger. But scientists have discovered a quick and easy way to smooth wrinkles.

A study at the Sleep School in London shows that extra wrinkles on your face can derive from driving yourself too hard at your daily grind and skimping on shuteye.

The researchers did something pretty simple – they had folks sleep either eight hours a night or six per night for a week and then photographed their faces and surveyed how people felt.

The results showed that when you burn the midnight oil and slumber too little, you wrinkle too much: Lack of sleep increased wrinkling by an average of 45 percent.

In addition, spots on the face went up by more than 10 percent, brown areas increased by more than 10 percent, red areas expanded by more than ten percent and skin bacteria multiplied by 16 percent.

Missing sleep left facial problems you couldn’t miss.

This backs up earlier studies that show prolonged sleep deprivation breaks down skin barrier function and mucous membranes.

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A big part of the situation, say the researchers, is that your body produces collagen (tissue that supports the skin) while you sleep. Miss out on sleep time and the lack of collagen shows up in added wrinkles.

“If we look at skin especially, skin cells are effectively repaired during sleep — and to do that, collagen levels need to be intact,” researcher Guy Meadows told Yahoo Health. “A lot of collagen is produced during night.”

Ideally you should aim for 7.5 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep (especially if you want to benefit from restorative sleep processes that can help you avoid/reverse chronic disease). If I get any less than that, my body feels deprived and less energetic. Too much more than that, and I feel like I’ve overdosed and, paradoxically, I feel a little groggy.

A good way to get more sleep and produce more collagen at the same time is to make sure you eat protein for dinner and get a little tart cherry juice before bedtime. Another good idea is to take 1-2 tablespoons of hydrolyzed grass-fed collagen peptide at night. This will allow you to get a little extra protein and keep your collagen stores up for healthy smooth skin.

Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.