A woman wears a sleep mask with her head on a pillow in bed

Why You Probably Need More Sleep

Yawns in the morning aren’t the only sign that you’re not getting enough rest at night. In fact, many of us are chronically lacking sleep. While the National Sleep Foundation notes that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep at night, most of us, about a third of Americans, aren’t getting that much quality sleep. Some of you might ask, “What’s the big deal? You’re just a little tired!” But too little sleep can affect us in ways you may not have considered.

Sleep is Even More Important Than You Think

When we don’t get enough sleep, there are short-term and long-term effects on our bodies. In the immediate hours after not getting enough rest, you may have impaired judgment or an inability to learn and retain information, you may also find yourself more accident prone. A lack of sleep can also affect your mood. (I think we’ve all been there.)
In the long term, when you habitually or chronically don’t get enough sleep, your body is affected even moreso. Lack of sleep over many nights can lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular issues such as heart attack, heart failure or stroke, and even early mortality, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body also can suffer from an impaired immune system, leading to an increased chance of illness and infection.

What Happens While You Sleep (or Don’t)

During quality sleep — not marred by insomnia, apnea (including snoring), or other interruptions — your body goes into its important restorative cycles. These processes get you ready to go through another day. Your cells are renewing themselves, sending increased blood flow to skin and hair while your nerves communicate and reorganize. Your muscles repair themselves while your tissues grow and proteins synthesize while you rest. Also during sleep, the brain goes into housekeeping mode, getting rid of waste products and clearing out space for new input. It’s actually very active while you snooze.

When we don’t get enough rest, it can immediately show right on our faces. Even just one night of too little sleep can lead to:

  • drooping eyelids
  • swollen, redder eyes
  • darker under-eye circles
  • paler skin
  • more droopy corners of the mouth

But that’s not all! One New York dermatologist, Patricia Wexler, MD, remarks that even just getting a couple less hours of sleep per night can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping a full seven hours would. Not getting enough rest can also leave your skin drier, and dry skin can make lines look more visible.

The Cleveland Clinic notes that when you don’t get enough sleep you also experience an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol acts to break down collagen, the protein we love for keeping skin smooth.

The good news is that even just a few nights of quality sleep, or even better a few weeks of sleep, can help renew your appearance. Add in some regular internal hydration, a good twice-daily cleansing ritual, and some quality skin love to help your skin perform at its best. Whether you’re up all night with the kids, out with the girls, or working late; MUTHA™ Up All Night Eye Cream has you covered. Pearl powder, coffee seed and botanical extracts diminish those dark circles and brighten eyes in an instant.

Moms-to-Be, New Moms, Dads, (and Even Kids) Need More Sleep

It can be hard to get comfortable enough to sleep well when you’re pregnant. Doctors recommend trying to incorporate a wind-down routine before going to bed, and to utilize side-sleeping positions for comfort. Everything from leg cramps to heartburn can make it hard for pregnant women to find relief at night. Talk to your doctor if you’re struggling with sleep, and they may have some new ideas for ways you can make yourself more comfortable.

New moms get pulled in a million different directions day and night with a new baby at home, but sleep is even more important as they recover from giving birth and need to be well-rested in order to be ready when their baby needs them. Helping moms get rest at night as much as possible is vital for both their physical recovery and mental health. One shocking survey found that almost 50% of new parents report getting just 1-3 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

But it’s not just moms who aren’t getting enough rest. We’re all guilty of burning that candle at both ends too often, and sleep is the one To Do that gets trimmed from the day’s activities. It’s important to remember that at all stages of life, there’s a need for quality, regular sleep. We shouldn’t hold up lack of sleep as some kind of trophy for adulting. Instead, taking care of yourself should be the reward we desire.

“We’re part of this culture where being busy is super celebrated and applauded and it’s like a bragging right,” notes Hope Smith. “Whereas I try to remind myself that it’s not, and that’s not the ultimate goal in life to be busy.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine proposes the following numbers for the average ideal amounts of sleep each night for various age groups:

Ages 1 and 2: 11-14 hours including naps

Ages 3 to 5: 10 -13 hours including naps

Ages 6 to 12: 9-12 hours

Ages 13 to 18: 8-10 hours

Adults: 7 hours or more

Hope Smith Knows “Me Time” Includes Sleep Time

As you’ve read, taking time to get enough sleep is so valuable, inside and out. It’s all a part of your self-care routine, after all. That winding down time can be important while pregnant, but also just for that mom who’s looking for some calm while getting ready for a night of restorative sleep. “When my kids go to sleep, I love to take a long shower, then soak in the bath with a face mask on and take my time with a long drawn out skincare routine,” Hope Smith remarked. “My routine always ends with MUTHA™ Body Butter, which I call my ‘Body Sleep Mask.’” Above all, finding time for rest and restoration is key for feeling, and looking, your best.