Why do you look exausted when you don’t get enough sleep?

April 9, 2014

morningIt is a known fact that when people are tired they look tired. Puffy eyes, dark circles and that long drawn out look, including more wrinkles and uneven skin tone.


Have you even asked yourself why this is the case?  Why we can’t look the same regardless of how many hours of sleep we get?


The reason is water retention, and the fact that the skin of the upper and lower eyelids is the the thinnest skin on our bodies.

Any changes in hydration, whether you’re dehydrated or you have salt retention because you have a big meal the night before, are going to reflect in that thin skin so easily compared to any other skin in the body.  Specifically, being dehydrated will produce a more sunken look, while having too much salt will lead to water retention and a puffy look.

The hours of sleep you get will affect the way you look the follow day.  During sleep our bodies detoxify. Eliminating salt and impurities that accumulate in our system during the day. These impurities will collect in our bodies, particularly the skin tissue.  They affect the water balance in our system.  It takes many hours of sleep to remove these unwanted impurities.  If not enough sleep is taken,  they will remain steadfast and visible, particularly the face and the eye area.    


As for those dark under eye circles, a number of factors could be at play. The blood vessels under the skin that are actually responsible for the darkish hue, so when you’re dehydrated, you can better see the color of the blood vessels, which appear blue under the skin. In addition, as people get older and begin to enter middle age, they will begin to lose volume around the eyes, producing what is called a “tear trough.” This “tear trough” casts a shadow where the cheek and eyelid meet, which also contributes to the appearance of darkening. While these are general factors responsible for contributing to darkening around the eyes,  lack of sleep will only exacerbate these effects.

Drinking the right amount of water everyday is essential to maintain proper hydration.  For example, it is well known in the Asian cultures, that when salty meals are consumed, they must be accompanied by a generous amount of hot green tea. This green tea flushes the salt from the body and therefore preventing a puffy tired look the following day. The right consumption of water will produce the same benefit. Balance is the key.  The right amount of water and the right amount of sleep will greatly diminish not only how we look in the morning but also how we feel.