No matter what time my alarm clock rings, my body always seems to have the same reaction: Press snooze. In fact, I even set my alarm early enough to give me the option to press snooze once or twice before I really have to get up. A girl's gotta get her beauty sleep! But it actually made me wonder: How much beauty sleep do you really need? We've all grown up with our mothers drilling eight hours of shut-eye into our minds, and as it turns out, mother's know best. Research suggests that anywhere from seven to eight hours of sleep is the ideal number.
According to You Beauty, multiple studies have shown that getting seven to seven and a half hours of sleep actually reduces your mortality risk. Additionally, WebMD points out that getting less than six hours of sleep per night can actually raise your risk of heart attack and stroke and hurt your cognitive performance, mainly affecting the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. While that doesn't have to do with "beauty," there is nothing cute about looking confused or sleepy at your work desk.
As far as beauty goes, getting the right amount of sleep is super duper important when it comes to skin. New Beauty spoke with Dr. Rebecca Robbins, sleep expert for The Benjamin Hotel in New York, who also said that the ideal number is between seven and eight hours. The reason?
“When you sleep, your skin repairs itself, so cutting your sleep short causes your blood vessels to dilate under your eyes. When this happens, dark circles form,” Dr. Robbins pointed out. And let's be honest, the better our skin looks, the less time we have to spend on things like concealer and foundation. What's more, getting the proper amount of rest can reduce signs of aging, aid in collagen production, and promote healthy hair growth. Therefore, it is in all of our best interests to be getting at least that much sleep per night!
For some of us, that amount of sleep isn't always realistic, at least not consecutively. When I worked in TV news, I often woke up at 3am to be in the office by 4am. Needless to say, I was not getting anywhere near the proper amount of sleep. But Dr. Robbins also told New Beauty that a 20 minute nap will allow you the rest you need without entering the deep phase of sleep where dreaming is possible, otherwise known as REM sleep. While WebMD points out that a nap is not a substitute for a good night's sleep, it can be helpful as a quick fix.
The moral of the story? Make sure you're getting more than six hours of sleep a night. Whether you do it for your skin or your cognitive health, a solid seven to eight hours can make all the difference in every aspect of our lives!
Images: Isla Murray/Bustle; Unsplash