Beauty sleep is the real deal. In fact, a study published in the journal BMJ suggests that people who are sleep deprived are less healthy and look less attractive.
Sleep deprivation can be caused due to a number of reasons like being overstressed, overworked, late-night binge-watching sessions, and insomnia to name a few.
Also, have you ever noticed the way you look and feel the very next morning if you haven’t slept well? If not, then we would like to tell you that sleep and your looks have a real deep bond that revolves around the hormone called melatonin.
In layman’s terms, melatonin is a hormone that helps in reducing the pigmentation, anti-ageing wrinkles, and also reduces hair fall.
But there is a lot of science that goes behind this mechanism. So, we got Dr Pallavi Sule who is a dermatologist and aesthetic physician to help us understand it better.
What’s the relation between sleeping and melatonin?
Dr Sule says that, “Melatonin is a hormone primarily secreted by the pineal gland which is known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Usually, it is consumed in the form of tablets to help people in jet lag, shift works by regulating the circadian cycle as a short term treatment for trouble in sleeping”.
Do we secrete more melatonin at night?
Dr Sule suggests that the pineal gland is sensitive to light. When it is dark outside the body secretes more melatonin and prepares the body to sleep and when it is day/ light (artificial lights) the production of melatonin decreases. Low levels of the hormone give brain signals to stay awake.
Can being stressed impact the level of melatonin in our body?
Dr Sule says, “Melatonin is also known for its antioxidant benefits!! We all are living in a very stressful environment, be it the external or internal stressors like pollution, food consumed (adulteration), solar radiation, sleep patterns, work environments and so forth.”
“Any kind of stress releases free oxygen radicals in the body, which damages our DNA, causing degenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases. Oxidative damage also leads to aging and hair fall which we know is one of the major causes. Melatonin hormone serves as a potent antioxidant, presumptive anti-aging substance, and anti-cancer agent,” she continues.
Are there any other advantages of following a proper body clock?
Dr Sule further elaborates, saying, “Maintaining good sleep hygiene and good sleep quality has many advantages. The sleep-wake cycle governs two hormones–cortisol and melatonin.”
She suggested that experts estimate that 75% of this hormone is released during sleep which is usually one to one-and-a-half hours after one falls asleep. Sleep deprivation or altered cycles affects the release of this hormone.
How does sleep help us unwind?
Sleep has an interesting relation with the liver. Dr Sule explains that, “Scientific studies suggest that most patients with advanced liver diseases have disturbed sleep patterns. The liver has its own clock for detoxification and regulation of hormones.”
“Disturbed sleep results in raised cortisol levels (stress levels) and vice versa. This hampers the regulation of hormones by the liver. Here, now the liver is overworked and cortisol levels in the body are high during daytime. This circulating cortisol hampers the liver’s regulations of melatonin and so the melatonin hormone levels are also high during daytime. Resulting in day time fatigue and drowsiness, and nighttime alertness.”
What can we do to increase the level of melatonin?
“Many formulations are available in the market in the form of tablets and gels for topical application. But we must not forget the most important factor in production of the right amount of melatonin hormone in the body is sleep,” she says.
So ladies, the bottom line is a healthy body clock and a good night sleep is what you need to stay beautiful and look young forever and it’s for free! Well, that’s an amazing deal to go forward with.
(With inputs from IANS)