As it turns out, there's something to that whole idea of "beauty sleep." On the nights where you don't get your regular 8 hours, it's almost expected that some careful blending will be needed to cover the dark circles under your eyes, but not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on the rest of your skin as a whole.
"A lack of sleep depresses the body's immune system, which is very important for normal skin health, and a 'glowing' appearance," explains Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy MD, dermatologist and founder of Miami Skin Institute. "A lack of sleep can reduce blood flow to the skin surface, causing it to look ashy or grey instead of rosy." Counteract the effects by investing in a rich moisturizer, and if things are really extreme, regular facials (or even a Fraxel treatment as a last-ditch effort) can help increase bloodflow.
As the warriors and poets known as the Spice Girls once said, too much of something is just as tough. Going into full-on sloth mode can have adverse effects on your complexion. "If you sleep too much, more than 10 hours a day, you may not be getting enough exercise or have activity levels sufficent to promote good blood flow to all areas of the body, which includes the skin," she says.
According to Dr. Jegasothy, you should aim to get around 8 to 9 hours in your teens, while 7 to 8 hours is the sweet spot for most adults. For some reason, that amount of time decreases as we get older. "Once you reach your 40s, 50s, and 60s, it's pretty common to find that 5 to 7 hours of sleep is enough," she adds.