Science Says “Beauty Sleep” Is A Real Thing & You Don't Have To Be A Princess To Get It

by Julia Guerra

Ladies, it’s official: You won't find the secret to looking and feeling your best rummaging through your makeup bag, closet, or *gasp* even on the shelves of Sephora — at least, as far as new research can tell. You might beg to differ, but consider this: How well did you sleep last night, and how did you feel upon waking up and moseying on over to the mirror this morning? I only ask because, what was once a myth might now be factual: Science is claiming beauty sleep is a real thing, meaning the better your sleep quality, the better you feel about yourself in general. I mean, I can only speak for myself, but considering, on a good night, I probably clock in about seven hours of sleep and wake up feeling totally refreshed, I’m buying into this theory.

At this point of adulthood, when you stay up way past your bedtime for whatever reason — getting caught up in a never-ending scroll through Instagram, cheersing drink after drink at an extended happy hour — you almost expect to roll out of bed the next day with dark bags under your eyes. Sure, it was cute in college, when the exhaustion from hanging out with your friends until dawn was easily concealed with cosmetics and a smile, but nowadays, your overall well-being outweighs your social calendar.

Moisturizer, foundation, mascara — these products can only do so much covering up. The real secret to looking your best is feeling your best first, which means taking care of your body, going to bed on time, and sleeping through the night.

A new survey shows that if you go to bed early and get a good night’s rest, you’ll feel and look your best in the morning.

I can’t imagine, in between conquering the world one bad*ss album at a time and taking care of baby Bey’s, that Beyoncé actually has time to sleep. Still, if she’s getting at least six to seven hours per night, then according to science, we have every reason to believe she does, indeed, wake up flawless — and you can, too, in theory. In order to figure out, once and for all, if beauty sleep is a real thing, a team of experts from mattress brand Sealy UK conducted a survey in which more than 1,000 people commented on their sleep habits, and how they felt about their physical appearance.

Well friends, the results are in, and of those surveyed, 60 percent are in agreement that more sleep equates to positive changes in their appearance. Participants noted the longer and better they slept, the more likely it was that they’d wake up with bright eyes, clear skin, a natural glow, and most importantly, feeling great. So basically, what this means is, you not only have an even more valid excuse to go to bed at 9 p.m. on a Friday night, but the next time you dramatically sigh that “you need your beauty sleep,” you'll know you aren’t wrong.

“The term 'beauty sleep' has some truth behind it,” sleep science coach and founder of SleepZoo, Chris Brantner, tells Elite Daily. When you sleep, he adds, your body produces collagen to keep your skin supple and moisturized — meaning, he says, a lack of sleep can do just the opposite. “Less sleep can also dry out your skin,” Brantner explains, not to mention dull your natural glow in the process.

So how much beauty sleep do you actually need to wake up feeling flawless?

OK, here’s where Sealy’s survey loses me: The research found that people who slept nine hours and 10 minutes per night, on average, were most likely to reap the most beauty benefits from their sleep. Now, I have zero doubts that taking proper care of your body and making sure you're well-rested can absolutely have a positive effect on your physical appearance and mental health. But what I’m not so sure about is that it’ll take you more than six to eight hours of shut-eye to get you there. Plus, who’s actually sleeping for more than nine hours a night, at least during the week?

Just getting enough high-quality sleep per your individual body’s needs can make a huge difference, and that’s really what Sealy UK’s resident sleep expert, Neil Robinson, wants you to keep in mind the next time you’re about to lose yourself in a midnight Netflix binge:

Many of us strive to look and feel good and spend a large amount of money trying to do so. However, we seem to forget that achieving a better night’s sleep can positively impact our overall appearance, without having to break the bank.

Less money spent and more sleep gained? It all sounds pretty genius to me.

Now that you know beauty sleep is real, why not take advantage of this new information by fine-tuning your nighttime routine for optimal rest?

Now that you know there are actual hours of beauty sleep to be had, you’re going to want to make sure your sleep space is at its prime. And remember: You don’t necessarily have to break the bank and deck out your bedroom with Egyptian cotton sheets and pricey blackout curtains, but little adjustments here and there can easily be made to transform your bedroom into a sleepytime oasis.

Before tackling bedroom decor, though, you should probably re-evaluate your nighttime routine. Obviously, watching hours of Riverdale well into the night probably isn’t going to cut it, so try to limit yourself to one episode and commit to an earlier bedtime. If you want to go that extra mile and make sure you’re getting at least six hours of sleep, count backward from the time you wake up and go to bed around that time of night, every night. It's also worth noting the temperature you snooze in is just as important as the amount of hours you clock in, so be sure to set your thermostat anywhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for a sound sleep.

Going off of Sealy's survey results, just getting a decent amount of shut-eye should do the trick naturally, but if you want to be absolutely positive you'll wake up looking flawless, Cosmopolitan UK suggests slipping on a silk eye mask to block out light and keep your skin from creasing by the a.m.

Bottom line: Beauty isn't pain, but it is bedtime-related. Do yourself a favor, and sleep tight tonight.