Lack of sleep may speed up skin aging

By: Sarah Thuerk

Sleep deprivation can increase the signs of aging in the skin and decrease the skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure, a recent clinical trial indicates.

Researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, examined 60 premenopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of the participants categorized as having poor sleep quality, according to a news release. This classification was made based on average duration of sleep and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

Participants were given a visual skin evaluation and noninvasive skin tests such as UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. Participants also completed sleep logs for one week to quantify sleep duration.

Poor quality sleepers demonstrated increased signs of intrinsic skin aging such as fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced elasticity. Good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from skin stressors. Sunburn recovery was slower in those who got poor quality sleep, with erythema remaining higher over 72 hours.

Using a transepidermal water loss test at various points, good quality sleepers had recovery 30 percent higher than poor quality sleepers.

“Sleep deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure,” Elma Baron, M.D., the study’s primary investigator, said in the news release.

The study was commissioned by Estée Lauder.

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