Monday, September 16, 2013

Sleep Deprivation Linked to Skin Aging

A new study has revealed a link between sleep quality and skin function and aging. The study, conducted by researchers at the University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center, demonstrated that poor sleepers have increased signs of skin aging and a slower recovery from environmental stressors. Scientists found that poor sleepers also have a worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance. 

The study involved 60 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of the participants classified as “poor sleepers” based on their average duration of sleep and their answers to a questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality. Scientists conducted a visual skin evaluation and several non-invasive skin challenge tests, including UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. The study participants also filled out a sleep log for one week. 

The researchers found statistically significant differences between good quality and poor quality sleepers. Using a skin aging scoring system, scientists found that poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation, skin slackening and reduced elasticity.
"Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging," said Elma Baron, M.D., Director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Sleep-deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin's ability to recover after sun exposure. Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown."

Scientists also found that good quality sleepers recovered more quickly and efficiently from environmental stressors to the skin. For example, poor quality sleepers took more time to recover from sunburn, with redness remaining for more than 72 hours. Another test determined that poor quality sleepers’ skin is a less effective barrier to moisture loss.

"This research shows for the first time that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin's ability to repair itself at night," said Daniel Yarosh, M.D., Senior Vice President of Basic Science Research, R&D, at Estée Lauder. "These connections between sleep and skin aging, now supported with solid scientific data, will have a profound effect on how we study skin and its functions. We see these findings as yet another way we can direct our scientific research toward the real needs of our customers who want to look and feel their best."

This study shows that sleep has a significant impact on skin’s function, appearance, and its ability to act as a barrier from external stressors such as environmental toxins and sun-induced DNA damage. Greenville Dermatology has a variety of products to improve skin appearance and protect it from environmental stressors. Come see us, or call and speak with one of our skin experts at (864) 242-5872.

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