April 13, 2020Stress and Your Skin

Beauty Sleep and Circadian Health: What You Need to Get Your Sleep Back on Track

Sleep is such a hot button issue right now. People are struggling with sleep more than ever. I wanted to share some key tips to help get your sleep back on track. Sleep is one of the most powerful tools we have to stay strong, calm, and healthy – and that is exactly what we need during this incredibly challenging time.

Beauty Sleep

First, beauty sleep is a real thing. Deep, restorative sleep is crucial to our health and our skin health, specifically. Our skin is in its most restorative state during sleep. Poor sleep, on the other hand, is linked with problematic skin: dark circles, breakouts, dull complexion – we’ve all been there.

  • 1 in 3 people suffers from poor sleep.
  • 1 in 10 people suffers from insomnia.

Long term consequences of sleep deprivation include premature skin aging and significant health issues.  If you want to enjoy a healthy body, a healthy mind and skin that glows with health, listen up!

Circadian Health

The key to getting that deep, restorative sleep that allows your mind and your skin to truly repair itself overnight is to recognize that sleep is part of a larger cycle: circadian rhythm.

The secret to a healthy circadian rhythm is regular, cyclical and precisely timed exposure to periods of daylight and to darkness.

LIGHT cues are the strongest way to set your internal clock, and regular, predictable light exposure is essential to setting every organ’s circadian rhythm so that your whole body is in sync.

And it’s not just any light- it’s all about BLUE light.  When blue light enters your eye, it tells your brain to turn OFF its production of melatonin, so you can wake up and feel alert.  When blue light no longer enters the eye, the brain can begin pumping out the sleep hormone melatonin, allowing your body to begin to relax and ultimately fall into a deep state of reparative and restorative sleep.

If you can manage your eye’s exposure to blue light, you can align your internal circadian clocks, and this can have profound effects on your health and the health of your skin.


Here’s what I do to limit my exposure to blue light to establish a healthy bedtime routine and optimize my sleep hygiene:

(1) I use blue light filtering glasses as soon as it starts to get dark outside. These are under $15 on Amazon and they work wonderfully. I use them anytime I have LED lights on, or if I am doing work after dinner on my computer or my phone.

(2) I limit my TV time before bed, instead opting to read. It makes a huge difference in my sleep, so it’s worth it to me. I try to shoot for no more than 30 mins of screen time (with my blue light glasses on) per night.

(3) Make sure your bedroom is cool and you aren’t overdressed for bed. You should feel cool and comfortable.  Your body is more likely to dive into deep sleep if the air temp in your bedroom is on the cooler side.

(4) Consistency is key as well when it comes to sleep hygiene. Whenever possible, I try to stay on a schedule and a routine when it comes to bedtime and setting my alarm – even on weekends. Plus, your sleep in the earlier hours of the evening is more restorative for your body, so I try to get as much of that quality sleep as possible!

(5) I have been syncing up my meals with the circadian diet philosophy, so I’m eating my heavier meals during daylight hours. This has made a huge difference in my energy and in my sleep quality.

Sweet dreams!

Dr. Whitney