Lack of Sleep Accelerates Skin Ageing


Dr Elma Baron, of the Skin Study Centre, University Hospitals Case Medical Centre in Ohio has published the results of her study where she says that it is possible to demonstrate that lack of sleep accelerates ageing.

Of course there are lots of papers written about how much or indeed how little sleep we all should have. Maggie Thatcher for example survived on just four hours every night. Now I know that she died when she was just 87 and given that people are living longer these days, it may be that she didn’t last as long as she may have liked to, but saying this 87 is a decent age to live to. However the point of writing this is to demonstrate how good her skin was – throughout her life and indeed in her old-age. The fact is that from what we know she used to put lots of rejuvenating lotions on her skin at bed-time. Much like many things that she did – it was part of her daily routine.

There are other mature, dignified ladies that I can think of such as our lovely Queen Mother who had a beautiful complexion throughout her whole life. I don’t know how much or indeed how little sleep she had, but I would think that she had lots of skin-care lotions to apply every day. On the other hand Queen Victoria publicly declared makeup improper – but was very austere and a bit harsh in everything she did.

The Rhythm of Skin

Scientists believe that skin-cells have a 24 hour rhythm, repairing themselves at night and protecting themselves during the day. The stresses and strains of every day life allow that the cells don’t function correctly, allowing internal debris to accumulate, preventing them from functioning properly and eventually causing cellular damage.

Our bodies are composed of trillions of individual cells and every day millions of cells die and are replaced by millions of new cells. Each cell on its own is a little factory, drawing in oxygen (from the air that we breathe) and amino acids (that it finds in the foods that we eat) it converts it to something known as ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). In a sort of a way, we can describe it as ‘energy’. It is crucial to our very existence.

Cells are chemical factories that break down organic molecules to obtain energy, which can then be used to generate ATP. When we stop making it we are put in a box – with a lid on it – and we don’t get out at the weekends!! In other words, we are dead. Our life force has left us. Why we stop making ATP is a question that I don’t know the answer to. However I do know that intake of oxygen is vital in the equation and this is why we should all try to get our 10,000 steps in ever day – to keep healthy.

The energy and nutrient requirements of the body vary from moment to moment, (resting versus exercise), hour to hour (sleep versus awake), and year to year (growing child versus adult). During the day we make ATP but our demands for it exceed the actual amount that we are able to make. Thus as the day goes on, we get tired – our battery empties quicker than we can fill it! On the other hand, when we sleep, we make more ATP than we are using, and thus our battery fills up – and when we awake we are fresh and ready for the day ahead – or at least we should be?

Night Time Repair

This takes us back to the scientists telling us that our bodies and our very skin-cells repair at night when we sleep. Maggie Thatcher only had four hours in which to carry out the repair job to replenish her vitality and to keep her skin looking great. Her autobiography doesn’t say how she did this, but putting two and two together I reckon that she must have done two very important things.

  1. She gave herself the opportunity to build ATP by getting her body into a situation where it was calm. By being able to clear her mind of all that was in her head (and it must have been much) she slept well. Her quality of sleep was good and in turn she gave her body every chance to repair. To help you do this, it is important to clear your mind of thoughts that may be troubling you. We recommend you take advantage of the Relaxation Breathing Exercise that we wrote about last year to aid in getting a deep sleep.
  2. She didn’t know of Moss-Grove but used a selection of best quality cosmetics to enhance the appearance of her skin.

The problem with cosmetics is that they are generally mixtures of chemical compounds where few of us understand the names or the reasons why they have been included – and in reality the dangers of using them. Of course cosmetics have been around for a long time, indeed there are references in the Old Testament where Jezebel painted her eyelids. The Romans used cosmetics made from beeswax, olive oil and rosewater; however on the whole, today they are full of chemicals and – safe or otherwise?

Alternative Methods for Healthy Skin

So, maybe it’s worth considering the alternatives that one can be found. At Moss-Grove Natural Products we use plant-based therapeutic essential oils as the active ingredients. These ‘natural’ ingredients are not patentable, so there is no incentive for drug and cosmetic companies to study the benefits but we know how good they can be at nourishing an overworked body and the skin that surrounds it.

We would recommned the use of our Rejuvenating Lotion. Used at night-time when you sleep, it well help aid the recovery of the individual cells, keeping your skin fresh, young and supple.

Used before bed, we hope that you find our breathing exercise will help de-stress you and aid quality sleep, whilst the daily use of our Rejuvenating Lotion will help your skin keep a youthful look – as many of our happy and satisfied customers tell us. You might just be of the same mind that it is indeed possible to decelerate the rate at which your own skin ages.

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