Why "Beauty Sleep" Is Real

Your mom was onto something when she told you that you need your beauty sleep. Sleep really does affect your beauty in noticeable ways – both in the short term and in the long term. It’s not just exhaustion that leaves you looking haggard after a rough night’s sleep. When you don’t get good sleep, you’re depriving your body of its nightly repair and renewal process.

Sleep is your body’s built-in anti-aging mechanism, a chance to heal, replenish, and rebuild tissues after the stresses of the day. Without it, those daily stresses are going to show up in your skin sooner than later. It’s no surprise that lack of sleep is linked with accelerated signs of aging.[1][2] Here are some of the ways that a good night’s sleep helps refresh your appearance:

What Happens During Beauty Sleep

1. Healthy Blood Flow

When you sleep, the blood flow in your body gets redistributed. Sleep increases blood circulation to the skin and scalp, replenishing them with nutrients and oxygen and clearing out toxins and dead cells to encourage healthy cell turnover. This supports healthy hair growth, refreshes your complexion, and gives you a healthy glow.[3]

When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the lack of blood flow is likely to show up in your face, leaving you with a pale, dull complexion. Other tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation, such as puffiness or dark circles under the eyes, are also the result of poor blood circulation, leading to a build-up of fluid and deoxygenated blood under the eye area.[4]

2. Repair & Renewal

During sleep, your body shifts into repair mode. It secretes human growth hormone to help repair and regenerate skin and hair follicle cells that may have been damaged by UV exposure, air pollution, chemicals, and other everyday stresses. Deep sleep is also when the body produces new collagen, the structural protein that helps keep skin firm, smooth, and supple.

If you don’t get enough sleep, your body misses out on this chance to rebuild and heal. Daily stresses that can prematurely age the skin accumulate faster. Less sleep also means less collagen, which can weaken the skin’s structure and increase wrinkles and lines. According to WebMD, a night with just 5 hours sleep can create twice as many fine lines as a night with 7 hours sleep.

3. Stress Regulation

Persistent daytime stress is one of the things that ages us. Stress hormones such as cortisol can increase inflammation in the skin, impair the skin’s water retention, and damage collagen, accelerating signs of aging. Stress has also been linked with hair graying and hair loss.4[5]

Sleep gives the body a nightly reset to help regulate stress and maintain hormonal balance. During sleep, stress hormones go down, allowing the body to recover and helping skin heal. Lack of sleep deprives us of this rebalancing, and can actually increase our stress levels and cortisol production.

Maximize Your Beauty Sleep

1. Commit to Good Sleep

Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is important for your health and your beauty. Commit to a regular sleep schedule to help your body build a habit of healthy sleep. If you have trouble sleeping well, check out our tips for How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep. You may also want to try our Sleep Support supplement with relaxing herbs, GABA, and melatonin.

2. Pamper at Night

A nighttime beauty routine can help you maximize the benefits of your beauty sleep. Skincare treatments work best at night, when the skin is in repair mode and healthy blood flow helps your skin soak up the good ingredients in your skincare products. Using a humidifier or a good moisturizer can also help your skin stay hydrated while you sleep.

3. Boost Beauty from Within

Skincare can also work from the inside out. For instance, hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in skincare products that helps the skin retain moisture, but can also be taken as a supplement. Aging and external stressors can decrease natural levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin, but taking hyaluronic acid supplements can help replenish levels and improve skin moisture.[6] Our Whole Food Multivitamin + Beauty Blend includes hyaluronic acid in the beauty blend.

Collagen production in the skin also naturally declines with age, but you can replenish your collagen levels by taking our Collagen Peptides Powder. Fun fact: collagen is high in an amino acid called glycine, which has been shown to support better quality sleep when taken before bed.[7] So you may want to add collagen to a cozy bedtime drink as part of your nighttime ritual.


[1] Clatici, Victor Gabriel et al. “Perceived Age and Life Style. The Specific Contributions of Seven Factors Involved in Health and Beauty.” Maedica vol. 12,3 (2017): 191-201.

[2] Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED. “Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?” Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015 Jan;40(1):17-22. doi: 10.1111/ced.12455. Epub 2014 Sep 30. PMID: 25266053.

[3] Jacob, Stephanie. “The Truth About Beauty Sleep.” Radiance by WebMD, Nov 2015.

[4]Sleep and Skin: The Benefits of Beauty Sleep.” Water’s Edge Dermatology, March 2022.

[5] Yetman, Daniel. “What Are the Effects of Stress on Your Face?” Healthline, 2020.

[6] Julson, Erica. “7 Surprising Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid.” Healthline, 2018.

[7] YAMADERA, W., et al. (2007), Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 5: 126-131. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x