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Study Links Sleep Loss, Bad Skin

By Nick Tate   |   Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 03:57 PM

Maybe there’s a reason they call it beauty sleep? In a first-of-its-kind clinical trial, scientists at University Hospitals Case Medical Center found that sleep loss can speed the aging of skin.
The study, commissioned by Estée Lauder and presented at a dermatology meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, found that poor sleepers had increased signs of skin aging and slower recovery from skin damaged caused by injuries or or ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
"Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging," said lead researcher Elma Baron, M.D., director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center. "Sleep-deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure.
"Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown."
For the study, researchers compared the skin of 60 women in their 30s and 40s, half of whom said they have trouble sleeping. The investigators conducted several "non-invasive skin challenge tests," such as using UV light exposure, to determine skin quality and gave each participant’s skin quality a rating.
The results showed the skin of individuals who slept well showed fewer signs of aging and recovered more readily from skin stress than those who didn't. They also found that poor sleepers took longer to overcome sunburns.

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