How A Lack Of Sleep Shows Up On Your Face

When you don’t get enough sleep, what do you notice? Surely you’ll feel tired – that’s a given – but after putting some thought into it, here are a few other things you might consider when answering that very question: irritability, crankiness, headaches and muscle aches. While these are all very common and serious results of a sleepless night, many people don’t consider the fact that a lack of sleep can become very apparent on your face.

woman frustrated in bed

What’s Sleep Got to do With it?
When you deprive your body of sleep, you’re essentially depriving your body and brain of nourishment. Think of sleep as food – a vital nutrient – for your brain; when you don’t get the sleep you need your body isn’t able to function properly. While sleeping the body rids itself of dead blood cells, brain cells and skin cells, which will ultimately be replaced with new, healthy cells. During this time, the body sheds harmful toxins, but when you don’t clock in enough hours, there isn’t enough time to finish the process.

Without a solid night’s rest, the skin can’t go through the proper checks and balances. A lack of sleep typically results in raised cortisol levels, low hydration levels, and low pH levels. What does all this mean for you? Spiked cortisol levels lead to inflammation of the skin, which makes already existing blemishes worse. In addition, cortisol takes over the job of the growth regulating hormones (GRH). When GRH can work properly, they’ll regenerate the skin’s collagen while you sleep, but with high levels of cortisol around, collagen won’t be reproduced which means there is not a natural defense against wrinkles. In addition, depleting moisture and pH levels gives your skin a dull appearance rather than a youthful glow.

Dark Circles
Those wretched under-the-eye marks that we all hate. They’re not only a sign of aging, but they’re also a huge sign of sleep deprivation. As we mentioned before, your body regenerates red blood cells while you sleep, but when the body isn’t able to go through it’s entire process, you’ve left with a blue-ish purple shadow under your eyes. In addition, the cells that line the blood vessels in the eye are deprived of regeneration, which causes the blood vessels to swell up and give you ill looking bloodshot eyes.

woman sleeping

Getting Your Beauty Sleep
There’s no denying that life happens; sometimes staying awake until the early hours of the morning is the only way to get things done, but let that be the exceptions. Don’t make a habit of staying up too late because it will be written all over your face. Try to get into a night-time routine, practicing the same activities right before bed. This will signal to your mind and body that it’s time to go to sleep so that you can wake up looking and feeling refreshed.

The only thing worse than dark circles is dark and puffy under-eye circles. Ironically, puffiness and inflammation are just another way lack of sleep shows up on your face the next day. With the hormones and chemicals being out of balance, the body has a tendency to hold on to sodium, and in turn, pull and hold water. While many people notice their eyes and cheeks puffing up, a fair number of people are prone to noticing all-over body bloat.


By Lionesse

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  • Michele Cupp

    March 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    This is so true. I’ve not been sleeping well lately and the puffiness under my eyes is showing that.

  • karen bellomy

    March 7, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Between my fybromyalgia and restless leg syndrome sleep is always a problem for me and it definitely shows on my face any ideas on how to unwind?

  • Mishell DeFelice

    March 7, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Ahhhh… sleep, so needed and often so elusive!

  • MazéCastro

    March 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    A good night sleep is essential to me

  • Angelehm

    March 7, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I have always had a hard time sleeping then add kids, rheumatoid arthritis and life . I am looking at diet changes and a better sleep routine. If I am short on sleep I am one of those people who bloat all over . I appreciate your helpful information.

  • Leila Benhamida

    March 7, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Lack of sleep means dark circle under my eyes. I don’t get any puffiness lucky enough.

  • Teresa Organ

    March 7, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    I already have a habit of staying up late and it’s written all over my face. I know that I need to get to bed earlier and I’m trying. This is a very good article.

  • corene

    March 8, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Sleep is so important! It really can show on your face and in your demeanor if you are not getting enough. Thanks for the great reminder.Great article!

  • Wendy Hatton

    March 8, 2017 at 2:02 am

    I’m staying with my daughter for a couple of weeks to help out with the new baby and two primary school kids. Oh boy, am I glad I’m getting plenty of sleep myself (and that those days are behind me!

  • Kscotton

    March 8, 2017 at 5:14 am

    I tend to check social media late at night….:/ oops.

  • Rocio zuniga

    March 8, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Getting to bed early..thas a big problem cause is very difficult to me tosleep.but am trying to get to bed early..nice article

  • Zhen Yun

    March 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    It is really true! Puffy eyes are a result of staying up too late! I should be sleeping right now!

  • Samantha A King

    March 8, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Between being a mommy and being woke up all night and stress I defintely can see what lack of sleep can do to my skin

  • Jeanne Coulombe

    March 8, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    This is so try dur to rheumatoid arthritis and failed back surgery sleep is very slim and it shows on my face .

  • gloria patterson

    March 8, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    You have a lot of great points here. I guess I am one of the lucky or maybe its spoiled people I get enough sleep. I get about 7 hours a night and sometimes I get a afternoon nap., The one thing I do have off your list is the dark circles under my eyes.

  • Sonia Carneiro

    March 8, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Without doubt, lack of sleep can effect our health and appearance!! I always try to get between 7-8 hrs.

  • Kasie Kelly

    March 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I’ve learned over the years how essential sleep is for my body, mind and soul!

  • Angela Bauer

    March 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I can agree with this, losing atlot of sleep in my 8th month of pregnancy I can see it in my face

  • barbara brito

    March 8, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Sleep is very important

  • nicole margrif

    March 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    need lots of sleep to keep beautiful inside and out.

  • shantiqua allen

    March 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    I definitely know that feeling having a 3 year old and a newborn with different sleep schedules it starts to show i don’t get sleep very quickly

  • Jamie Johnson

    March 8, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Another great thing I just learned about getting the right amount of sleep is that you actually burn calories when you sleep! If that is not a good enough reason to get some rest, I don’t know what is! Also, always try to sleep with your face elevated. It will help decrease puffiness and dark circles. Now that I read this article, I know why my husband is always cranky and has so many headaches, lack of sleep! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing article!

    Desperately Seeking Sleep,
    Jamie Johnson

  • Tiffany F

    March 8, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you for the insights and the information! I look forward to reading more and getting a better night’s sleep!

  • Corry L.

    March 9, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I deal more with puffy under eyes when I lack sleep.

  • Janice Santillo

    March 9, 2017 at 1:28 am

    I hate those dark eye circles and puffiness. I often have a hard time sleeping.

  • Emily Endrizzi

    March 9, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Great points. For me, I have dark spots under my eyes no matter how much I sleep. Lol.

  • Jessica Aldridge

    March 9, 2017 at 5:57 am

    It is hard to go to sleep early most nights. After my children go to bed(usually around 9 or 930), that is when I finish up chores. After that it is either go to bed, or have my “me time”! I end up staying up until 1 or 2 am! My face shows it just like this article says!

  • Rhonda Stefani

    March 9, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Hate to admit that this is a huge problem for me! I suffer severe insomnia and have the worst sleeping schedule, as I’m reading this at almost 2am…
    Definitely makes me want to work harder to get better sleep. Thank you!

  • rochelle haynes

    March 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

    True sleep does make your face look bad

  • Kimberly Flickinger

    March 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    This is definitely true. It shows up in mine.

  • shannon fowler

    March 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I definitely notice these things when I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t always remember that sleep can affect so many things.

  • Helena

    March 10, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Great post !
    Thanks for sharing !

  • Gloria Luongo

    March 10, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    So true. If I don’t sleep well you can definitley see it on my face.

  • Dana Smith

    March 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    So true, sleep is very important to health, well-being and looking your best! Definitely shows on the face from a lack of sleep.

  • Brenda Disimone

    March 11, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Thanks for the informative article…i didnt know sleep was that helpful or that less sleep resulted in such !

  • Lovely Joy Merced

    March 11, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I couldn’t agree more, If I Iack sleep you can tell it on my dark circles and tired face!

  • maura

    March 11, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I love to sleep

  • thea lennox

    March 11, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Only get about 5 hours sleep a night and have dark circles around my eyes.

  • Tracey Schmidt

    March 12, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Thanks for the information. I would love to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes.

  • Irina G.

    March 13, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Thank you for the information!
    This is true!


    March 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm


  • Marci

    March 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I need a good nights sleep or i feel and look aweful

  • Jessica Herring

    March 15, 2017 at 12:36 am

    This was very informative to me!

  • Jessica W.

    March 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Although I know how important sleep is, I’m a night owl and stay up too late most nights. The puffy eyes and face are my least favorite symptoms of sleep deprivation, along with being tired the next day.

  • adriana

    March 19, 2017 at 2:00 am

    a good night sleep is always needed. Makes me feel and look better.

  • Linda G

    March 20, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Dark circles, not pretty!

  • Alicia D

    March 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Wow it’s incredible how true this post is!!! Being stressed and not getting enough sleep really does take a toll on us ladies, huh?!

  • Surinder gurm

    March 25, 2017 at 3:06 am

    I wish I could just sleep straight through fir seven hours and wake up rested

  • Cynthia Stacey

    March 25, 2017 at 11:57 am

    A good nights sleep is essential to me in so many ways and if not – it does show up on my face and also shows in my behavior. I am alot more patient and put together with more rest!

  • Bob Morella

    March 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I always have puffy eyes if I do not get enough sleep!

  • Tracy K Nixon

    March 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    This is so true. I have slept terrible this week and so many people have commented how pale I look and have even asked if I am feeling well? My eyes feel dry so I have to keep applying eyes drops in to lubricate them – which make my eyes water so I look as if I am crying! I cannot win and need sleep!

  • Sarah Mackay

    March 26, 2017 at 12:05 am

    A good nights sleep makes the world of difference

  • Jennifer Haden

    March 26, 2017 at 7:19 am

    This is so true and such an important article. Not only is it bad for beauty, but not so good for health x

  • Tina Bredbury

    March 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    A good nights sleep is so important for mental and physical health! <3

  • Ashley

    March 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    So true!!

  • Tanya

    March 27, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Ah sleep the ever elusive thing for me, between Lupus/spinal fractures and an over active mind seems I never get enough. Sadly I look like a haven’t slept in months 🙁

  • Edna Williams

    March 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    This is a very important article! Thank you!


    April 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    yes i agree totally my sleep pattern has never been the same since i was a night worker and if i go to bed early i wake up early – after days and days of this my body crashes and my skin looks awful – i tend to spend a very late moring in bed to make up

  • Sheri Darby

    April 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    So important – I seem to be sleeping less and less these days

  • Nancy Bradford

    April 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve got most of these lol Have’t slept well since my daughter was born eight years ago.

  • Alison G Ellis

    April 2, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I know that I look 10 years older if I haven’t had a good nights sleep.

  • Allyson Becker

    April 3, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I realize that sleep is very important. I cannot function properly without sleep.

  • Yvonne Delgado

    April 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    so important. its a great reminder to me that we need sleep. Its so important for our overall health

  • Brandon Sparks

    April 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    This is sad but true.. I try my best to try and get at least 9 hours a sleep each night..

  • Tasha Wilkerson

    April 4, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Dark circles and puffy spots suck! Ive found that holding a cold spoon under the eyes sometimes in the mornings helps!

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