The Ultimate Overnight Skin Care Trick: Beauty Sleep

The concept of beauty sleep may be more than a cliché. Research is showing that people who are well rested actually appear more attractive.

To test the role of slumber in a beauty regimen, researchers in Sweden had observers look at photo­graphs of both sleep-deprived people and people who had slept for eight hours the previous night. Observers were asked to rate the photos based on how healthy, attractive, and tired the subjects appeared. In all cate­gories, they rated sleep-deprived subjects the lowest.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s Na­tional Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (, sleep plays a vital role in our overall physical health by allowing our bodies to heal and repair. This includes our skin as well as our emotional well-being, so it is easy to understand why regular shut-eye helps us keep our glow inside and out.

To make the most of your beauty sleep, be sure you are getting enough sleep nightly. (Be your own judge of how much is enough. Preferences tend to range from seven to 10 hours.) Practice healthy sleep habits such as going to sleep and waking up at the same time daily, avoiding caffeine and excessive alcohol late in the day, and avoiding “screen time” (smartphone, tablet, TV, computer) in the bedroom.

You can further boost the beauty benefit of slumber with these tricks:

  • Choose white sheets and pillowcases and wash them in skin-friendly detergent. Fabric dyes can irritate your skin, and so can harsh, heavily perfumed detergents.
  • Try to sleep on your back to avoid scrunching your face against the pillow. You will be free of lines and creases now, which may help prevent wrinkles later.
  • Cleanse your face every night before bed to remove makeup, dirt, and oil and allow skin cells to renew as you sleep.
  • Moisturize before bed with the moisturizer appropriate for your skin type (such as lightweight and oil-free for oily skin and rich for dry skin).

This is good news for all of us looking for simple, no-cost ways to look and feel more attractive—liter­ally overnight!


Axelsson J, Sundelin T, Ingre M, Van Someren EJ, Olsson A, Lekander M. Beauty sleep: Experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep deprived people. BMJ. 2010;341:c6614. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c6614.