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Does Sleeping Late at Night Cause Acne?

Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
How is sleeping late at night related to acne is a much debated topic. The post will help you figure out what the reality is so that you get your facts cleared related to this topic.
You have an important meeting at the office next morning and your powerpoint presentation for the meeting is not yet ready. What do you do? You sit back till late night and complete the presentation so that you are completely ready to give your best shot.
Doing so, you sleep for only 2 hours before getting ready for the meeting. As you stand in front of the mirror what do you see? Oh God! You have a pimple on your face! What a bad site it would be.
You wonder why you got that pimple on the same day of the meeting and feel annoyed. After the meeting is over, you sit quietly and wonder - Does sleeping late cause acne? The answer is probably yes.
Acne is a skin condition which is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, and papules or pustules which are inflamed growths on the skin surface. The skin has several pores which contain a hair follicle and an oil gland. These oil glands or sebaceous glands under the skin are responsible for secreting oil to keep the skin lubricated.
Excess oil secretion leads to blockage of the pores due to accumulation of dirt, causing inflammation which is commonly referred to as a pimple.
Sleeping late at night is related to acne in an indirect way. There is no clear evidence suggesting that sleep deprivation is directly related to acne formation. However, studies reveal that indirectly, less sleep causes acne and worsens the pre-existing condition.

Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health

When you sleep late at night frequently, you tend to deprive your body of the adequate amount of sleep required for rejuvenation. This results in -
  • Stress
  • Increased inflammation
  • Increased insulin resistance
  • Depression

Relationship Between These Effects and Acne

Sleeping late at night provides inadequate sleep, the effects of which are mentioned earlier.
So, how are these effects responsible for acne formation? Let's deal with every effect one by one. First effect of less sleep is stress which is a very well-known cause of acne. Increased stress in a person results in stimulation of adrenal glands which are responsible for producing androgens.
Secretion of these hormones in the body triggers acne formation. Stress also affects the immune system of the body due to which it takes more time to heal preexisting acne.
Lack of sleep is known to induce systemic inflammation. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports that, inadequate sleep leads to increase in inflammatory cytokines.
Increase in these substances in the body increases its tendency to produce inflammation. As we know, that acne is inflammation of blocked pores in the skin, it is clear that this inflammation is triggered due to increased amount of cytokines in the body.
Insulin resistance is a condition when the body has to produce more insulin for maintaining blood glucose level.
Lack of sleep leads to increased insulin resistance thus, forcing the body to produce more insulin. This also leads to increased sebum production and inflammation which are potential causes for acne formation.
Sleep deprivation leads to altered mental and emotional framework which can cause depression in individuals.
Depression creates a negative attitude in a person's mind thereby hampering the overall well-being of the individual. Poor overall health decreases healing ability of the body thus, affecting acne in a negative way.
These citations suggest that although sleeping late at night does not contribute to acne formation directly, it definitely affects the factors which are responsible for its formation thereby, contributing towards it.
Acne is a very common problem among teenagers which can be controlled by taking adequate rest. This will not only give them a glowing skin, but will help them face the world with confidence.