The best anti-ageing treatment is sleep

We’re being sold on anti-wrinkle injections and anti-ageing treatments constantly. Muscle paralysing proteins can prevent or diminish wrinkles, and other treatments can rejuvenate your skin, improve texture and reduce the overall signs of ageing. But there’s an alternative that can do all of those things (and more). It’s free, available to you every day, and you don’t even need to leave your house to get it. We are, of course, talking about sleep. So, instead of jumping on to ask for the next available appointment, we encourage you to first ask yourself ‘am I sleeping enough’? And here’s why:

Preventing signs of ageing


Sleep is important for the growth and renewal of our tissues and cells – and this, naturally, has a direct link to the quality and appearance of our skin. According to one study, “good sleepers had significantly lower intrinsic skin ageing”. Also, “good sleepers had 30% greater barrier recovery compared with poor sleepers… significantly better recovery from erythema (skin redness)... [and] a significantly better perception of their appearance compared with poor sleepers”.


Anti-wrinkle injections work to prevent or reverse the signs of ageing by restricting movement of the muscles that create wrinkles such as frown lines, smile lines and crow’s feet. It is effective – but the results are temporary. Your muscles will begin to move again (and create those lines when activated) after 3–6 months. So it’s only worth starting if you’re prepared to keep it up long-term.

Further, sleep can maintain the health of your skin, boost collagen production and give you a fresher looking appearance overall. Whereas anti-wrinkle injections target specific areas of concern – for example, a frown line that reminds you of a stressful job. And we can understand why you might want to get rid of that reminder!

The best anti-ageing treatment is sleepAvailability, and routine

Sleep happens daily, and it’s free. It is something we already know how to do, and can access it without leaving our homes (or getting out of our pyjamas). We consider sleep the fundamental approach to maintaining your youthful appearance, if you follow a few key tips:

  • Find a routine. Sleeping at similar times each night will keep your circadian rhythm strong. Get morning sun on your face, and go for a walk at sunset to let your body know when it’s time to wake and wind down respectively.
  • Sleep on silk! A silk pillowcase is non-absorbent, leaving skincare – and your skin’s moisture – on your skin. It also keeps your skin crease-free overnight, which helps to prevent wrinkles.
  • Aim for a solid 7–9 hours overnight. While we sleep, we shed fluids and toxins from our skin, and our cells go into repair mode. Quality sleep also boosts collagen production. 7–9 hours overnight will allow your body to fulfill that process effectively.

To inject or not?

Clinical treatments might be something you still want to try – and could complement a healthy sleep routine. But it falls short as the main solution, because it’s temporary, expensive and doesn’t contribute to your overall health in the way sleep does. If it’s a choice between the two, we’d recommend good sleep every single time.

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