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By Stephanie Jacob

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD

WebMD Feature

The Truth About Beauty Sleep

When it comes to your beauty routine, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you snooze, and that leads to a long list of benefits for your looks. The key is to get enough shut-eye -- 7 to 9 quality hours each night.

If you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, it’s likely affecting your appearance, says Michael Breus, PhD, a board-certified sleep specialist. Start getting 1 to 3 more hours of Zzz's, and you could see some improvement in as little as a day. Keep it up, and “within 2 to 3 weeks, people will notice that you’re sleeping better by the way you look,” Breus says.

Here are the six beauty benefits of getting enough rest.

1. Fewer Wrinkles

Skin makes new collagen when you sleep, which prevents sagging. “That’s part of the repair process,” says Patricia Wexler, MD, a dermatologist in New York. More collagen means skin is plumper and less likely to wrinkle.

Only getting 5 hours a night can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping 7 would. It also leaves skin drier, which can make lines more visible, Wexler says.

2. A Glowing Complexion

Your body boosts blood flow to the skin while you snooze, which means you wake to a healthy glow. Skimp on sleep and your complexion can look drab, ashen, or lifeless.

“Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding your face,” Breus says. “Skin becomes dull, and you don’t get those rosy cheeks anymore.”

3. Brighter, Less Puffy Eyes

Chances are, you’ve had dark circles or bags under your eyes after a night of too few Zzz’s.

“Puffy eyes are one of the first things we see when we don’t sleep,” says Doris Day, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center. Get enough shut-eye and you'll have less puffiness under your eyes

Stay well-hydrated and elevate your head with an extra pillow at night, too. That can also help reduce swelling.

Brush Up on Beauty

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