Can Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Looks?

“Beauty Sleep” is a phrase that you’ve probably heard over the years; however this has always been assumed to be a myth in the sleeping world.

But results from a nationwide sleep study conducted by Sealy revealed that there might indeed be a link between a good nights sleep and the physical appearance of a person.

The study asked the participants questions about their sleep habits, and the results indicated that:

60% of people believe that the better the quality of their sleep, the more positive they feel about their physical appearance

Of those who had a higher quality of sleep:

  • 42% felt they had brighter eyes
  • 21% felt their complexion was better
  • 20% felt their skin was clearer
  • 44% thought they experienced an improved demeanour
  • 17% saw fewer wrinkles
  • 11% experience improved skin conditions.

The results from the study also revealed that people who average 9 hours and 10 minutes of high quality sleep each night between the hours of 9:55 pm and 6:55 am are most likely to experience the positive physical appearance benefits.


Most people aim to look and feel as good as we can, which leads us to spend a substantial amount of money to maintain this. Despite this, we seem to forget that a good night’s sleep can have a significant effect on our physical appearance and won’t cost you anything.

On the other hand, those participants who experienced a bad night’s sleep felt they suffered from more prominent wrinkles, dark circles and less pleasing complexion.

Those surveyed also ranked sleep as the second most crucial factor in look good. Surprisingly this came higher than makeup, grooming, exercise and fashion. Only diet finished as the factor they thought had a more significant impact on appearance.

This is a step in the right direction because it shows that people already understand how important sleep is for their general wellbeing and appearance so now it’s just a case of implementing it.

We do also need to monitor the quality of the sleep you’re getting by ensuring that your sleep environment is as optimal as possible, so you’re likely to experience a higher quality of sleep. There are many things you can do create an ideal environment including:

  • Ensuring you have a comfortable mattress
  • Having a pillow that correctly supports your head and neck
  • Creating a quiet and calm sleeping environment
  • Having a consistent pre-sleep bedtime routine

Lack of sleep can result in the early onset of ageing because it can restrict the release of growth hormone, collagen and extra blood flow which happens while you sleep. This hormone plays a significant role in ensuring we stay looking young, our skin looks vibrant, and our muscles remain toned.

Sleep also helps to keep us looking healthy internally as well as externally. While we sleep, our body goes through anti-inflammatory processes which work to reduce pain and puffiness.

When you’re deprived of sleep, the body increases the release of the hormone Cortisol which can trigger a range of symptoms including hair loss and inflammation.

Sleep reduces the pronounced look of a lack of sleep which is usually seen in the face and eyes, so making sure you get a high-quality nights sleep will stop the “you look tired” comments.

To conclude, you could be using every type of skin cream available, but with resting your body, it can struggle to repair itself fully.

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