Being out on the town with your friends, mixing it up, enjoying the company, the music, the lights. Or perhaps you weren't having such a great time. Maybe the baby was up most of the night with a cough and fever and just couldn't be consoled.

Whatever your reasoning, it all boils down to you didn't sleep very well last night and the effects are showing. You have that groggy, heavy-headed, feet-dragging, day-is-never-going-to-end feeling.

You may be able to guzzle down enough coffee and energy drinks and work in just enough jumping jacks to keep yourself plugging along until it's finally time to call it a day, but what's happening on your skin is a different story. How can you perk your face up again?

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Your Face?

Sleep deprivation can have serious, long-term effects on your mind and body, but that's not where it ends. It can have a huge impact on your skin, too. Some of these may be short-lived. Some may resolve themselves the next time you get enough zzz's. Others may be more long term.

Missing out on your beauty sleep can cause:

  • Bags under the eyes: While under-eye bags can be caused by many things, lack of sleep is a huge culprit. When the skin under the eyes swells or sags, it's usually the result of too much fluid in the body.
  • Breakouts: A poor night's sleep can really kick the inflammation into high gear, especially stoking breakouts if you're already prone. Lack of sleep can increase your stress hormones (cortisol), which can trigger inflammation which fuels acne.
  • Inflammation: Lack of sleep decreases the moisture levels in your skin and lowers your pH levels, creating an imbalance. This can trigger redness and dry skin that lacks its youthful glow.
  • Weight Gain: Studies show that lack of sleep increases hunger and decreases the metabolic rate. People who get a full eight hours of sleep burned twice as much fat as those who didn't get enough rest.
  • Dark Circles: Blood vessels under the eyes dilate as a direct lack of sleep, causing those infamous raccoon eyes.
  • Red Eyes: Dilated blood vessels cause the eyes to become bloodshot.
  • Wrinkles and Drooping: Collagen is the skin's support matrix and key to elasticity. When you don't get a full night's sleep, your body doesn't have the time to produce new, fresh cells and fix yesterday's damage, contributing to accelerated aging.
  • Thinning Hair: Increased cortisol is to blame here, too. Exhaustion and stress from long-term sleep deprivation can, over time, trigger diffuse hair loss across the scalp.

Helping Your Skin Through Lack of Sleep

So . . . . the best way to combat the effects of lack of sleep are to get enough sleep! Sounds simple enough in theory, but is a whole different story in practice. Over 30% of American adults aren't actually getting their required amount of sleep according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to studying sleep. They've found that adults between the ages of 26 and 64 need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. They do concede, though, that not everyone is programmed exactly the same. Some people need as much as 10 hours of sleep a night, while others tend to thrive on as little as six.

So, when you don't get enough sleep, what can you do to support your skin?

  1. Splashing cold water on your face may wake you up and will help cool your hot face, but it's a bit of a rude awakening. If you can think of it before you go to sleep, tuck your cleanser and moisturizer in the fridge. It'll bring a little flush to your cheeks and help to eliminate any puffiness.
  2. Pack your tea bags. Soak a few green tea bags in hot water for a couple of minutes, then place them in the fridge to chill. (Enjoy a cup while you wait!). Lay the tea bags over your puffy eyes to infuse them with a dose of caffeine and healthy antioxidants that can give your dark circles a run for their money.
  3. Another puffy eye remedy is to place a few cold cucumber slices over your eyes.
  4. GLOWBIOTICS Soothing + Revitalizing Eye Cream is a lightweight formula designed to instantly cool, comfort, and correct the delicate eye area. The unique combination of active ingredients soothes and hydrates, helping to minimize the appearance of dark circles, skin redness, and puffiness to lift, tighten, and restore a youthful appearance.
  5. Apply your makeup carefully. Spot your concealer under your tired eyes in an inverted triangle using a shade that matches your face. Stay away from heavy eye makeup and highlighter. You don't want to draw any more attention to your eyes. Use a brighter lip tint to pull attention there, instead. A tiny bit of pink or coral-toned blush on the apples of your cheeks can really help to perk things up. A light dusting of illuminizer all over can brighten your dull complexion.

Beauty sleep really is a thing, so make sure you're getting plenty of zzz's at night for the sake of your skin.