Sleep Deprivation: How Does It Lead To Acne?

Many people actually know that sleep deprivation causes acne — but how?

Sleep Deprivation: How Does It Lead To Acne?

Credit: Vladislav Muslakov

The Importance Of Sleep

It is just like food and air — we need sleep. Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to death, just as surely as starvation does.

Consider sleep as maintenance time. It affects both the mind and body and when you don’t get enough of it, both suffer and eventually break down. Lack of sleep, also called sleep deprivation, can lead to acne and other health issues, some of which are extremely serious. You’ve been there — times when you can’t get out of bed and feel tired and listless the whole day.

There is no magical number of hours you need to sleep. Sleep deprivation has more to do with the quality of your sleep than the number of hours. That explains why some people can sleep 5 hours a night and feel rested and energized, while another can sleep 10 and still wake up tired and groggy.

Sleep Deprivation Causes Acne

Sleep Deprivation Causes Acne

Credit: Rac

When you sleep late, you’ll notice that your skin actually secretes more sebum, and this explains why it probably results in new acne. Lack of sleep promotes stress, causing an increase in the substance cortisol in the body. Cortisol, in turn, causes the skin to secrete more sebum, which results in acne. suggested that stress-related inflammation may be to blame for the breakouts.

“Our research suggests that acne severity associated with stress may result from factors others than sebum quantity. It’s possible that inflammation may be involved.”
– Dr. Gil Yosipovich, Professor of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Another factor connecting sleep deprivation to acne is the increase in insulin resistance, which can contribute to one becoming acne-prone. This is because insulin resistance can increase glucose or sugar, one of the major causes of acne.

Consequences of sleep deficiency

Not getting enough sleep or having sleep difficulties can:

  • Limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems.
    You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life
  • Make you more prone to pimples.
    Lack of sleep can contribute to acne and other skin problems
  • Lead to aggressive or inappropriate behaviour such as yelling at your friends or being impatient with your teachers or family members
  • Cause you to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods like sweets and fried foods that lead to weight gain
  • Heighten the effects of alcohol and possibly increase the use of caffeine and nicotine
  • Contribute to illness, not using equipment safely or driving drowsily

But how do you know that you are getting just the right amount of sleep?

A few questions to ponder — Do you:

  • Feel like you could use more energy?
  • Often wake up feeling drowsy and tired?
  • Have problems falling asleep?
  • Have problems staying awake without caffeine or other stimulants?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, chances are your sleep could be the reason you sabotaged your efforts to cure acne. Most people don’t get full benefits of your sleep because they sleep ‘poor quality sleep’. So rather than sleeping more, you need to increase the quality of your sleep.

When you learn to maximize the different phases of sleep and balance your inner sleep clock, you can kiss goodbye to your sleep problems. You get the full benefits of sleep and wake up refreshed and full of energy. And at the same time kick acne where it counts.


Updated 22 March 2018
P.S. We stumbled across this informative site with the low-down on more causes of acne, amongst other things. Definitely worth a visit if you have some reading time!