Beauty Sleep: The ABC’s of Catching Your Z’s


Sleep has been on my mind A LOT lately, or rather, lack of sleep. I have been getting around 5-6 hours of sleep per night this month because I’m on my Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rotation, and I can visibly see the effects of sleep deprivation on my face! Pimples? Check. Dark circles? Unfortunate check. Puffy eyes? Sigh. The list goes on. So what is the big deal about sleep anyways? Is beauty sleep a myth or something we should all swear by?

Snoozing on the couch after a call day at work

Snoozing on the couch after a call day at work

In short, beauty sleep is a real concept. Sleeping has been scientifically proven to decrease signs of skin aging and improve skin recovery time. During the day, your skin stem cells are hard at work fighting off harmful UV radiation and pollution, but at night, they can focus on producing healthy new skin cells and repairing damaged ones. This is also why you should NEVER sleep with makeup on! Your skin cells won’t be able to properly renew when it is still covered under makeup residue. During sleep your body also makes growth hormone, which is important for collagen production, the main protein that makes up skin. Not to mention, a good night’s sleep helps with memory formation, curbs your appetite, and keeps your immune system strong.

Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night, though it varies from person to person. Your ideal number of hours of sleep iis whatever you need to wake up feeling refreshed and fully recharged. In this day and age it is SO hard to hit 7-8 hours, but here are a few tips to help with getting better sleep:

  • Refrain from caffeine intake at least 6 hours before bedtime. This may mean  you stop reaching for those double shots by afternoon!
  • If you find yourself tossing and turning, get up and go do something else outside of bed. Do not associate lying in bed with frustration because this can become a habit.
  • Keep technology (and work) out of the bed! (This one is super hard) Minimize screen time in bed in order to relax your brain and get it prepared for rest.
  • Do not eat snacks right before going to bed. Your blood sugar may spike and then tank while you’re sleeping, which will wake you up and prevent you from falling back asleep.
  • Do not work out right before going to sleep as this revs up your body and can make it hard to prepare your mind for snoozing.

How many hours of sleep are you getting? Any other tips for good sleep? Speaking of, it is past my bedtime. Here’s to hoping we all get 8 hours of rest tonight!

10 Comments on Beauty Sleep: The ABC’s of Catching Your Z’s

  1. petiteish
    October 10, 2014 at 11:03 am (3 years ago)

    I also like the one about taking a hot shower 30 minutes before bed, since the natural body temperature drop helps with sleep.

    • Joyce
      October 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm (3 years ago)

      I agree! Getting into bed after a nice warm shower is one of the best feelings :)

  2. claudia
    October 13, 2014 at 9:49 am (3 years ago)

    Love this, Joyce! I also am lucky to get 6 hours of sleep nowadays, and I can feel my body rebelling against me unless I take a catch up day of 10+ hours of sleep on my day off. Makes for a wasted day off sometimes, but my body needs it!

    • Joyce
      October 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm (3 years ago)

      Claudia, you are in ortho now correct? I admire surgery residents so much; you really do get the least sleep and you’re on your feet all day. I find the most difficult thing about intern year is balancing work with time with loved ones and (precious) sleep. I hope that you get so do something fun on the rare days off as well!

    • Joyce
      October 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Mel! Better sleep can never hurt anyone :)

  3. D&D
    October 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm (3 years ago)

    Great tips! I think the keeping technology out of bed is key, but basically impossible for college students who live in a dorm.
    Dresses & Denim

    • Joyce
      October 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm (3 years ago)

      So hard, I agree! I would say try to spend at least 10 minutes without tech in bed right before going to sleep, just to wind down mentally. Good luck!

    • Joyce
      October 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Denise,
      Caffeine is a tough habit to kick especially because you can go into withdrawal if your body is used to having it! I’d suggest cutting down little by little, and aim to have your last cup around 3 pm to be safe.


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