Clinical trial finds that sleep quality impacts skin function and aging
For years, studies have showed that a lack of sleep impacts memory and cognitive performance and has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency.
Now, a clinical trial commissioned by Estée Lauder and conducted by physician-scientists at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center found that poor sleep quality can accelerate skin aging and weaken the skin's ability to repair itself. Poor sleepers also gave a worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance than people who sleep well.
The research team, led by Elma Baron, MD, presented their data this spring at the International Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland in an abstract titled "Effects of Sleep Quality on Skin Aging and Function."
The study involved 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of them falling into the poor quality sleep category.
Skin functions as an important barrier from external stressors such as environmental toxins and sun-induced DNA damage. The research team set out to determine if skin function and appearance is also impacted by sleep quality, which is vital to the growth and renewal of the body's immune and physiological systems.
The researchers found that those who didn't sleep well exhibited more signs of skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity.
The researchers also found that those who enjoyed quality sleep were more quick to recover from stressors to the skin such as sun and environmental toxins.
The amount of sleep one needs depends on a person's age. Most experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night*.
The above story is based on the July 17, 2013 news release by University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
Sleeping either less than 7 hours or more than 8 hours may be a risk factor for an array of common medical problems, including weight gain, diabetes and hypertension .