Let’s be honest, the lockdown has upturned our schedules. While on some days we sleep peacefully, on others we end up spending more time on our mobile or computer screens. One wrong afternoon nap and the sleep cycle goes for a toss. The result is lethargy, tiredness along with baggy eyes and dark circles. But is it only inadequate sleep that leads to dark circles?
Dr Veenu Jindal, dermatologist, tells indianexpress.com, “Sleeping less is not the only cause for dark circles. Lockdown has also forced people to look more at their screens, be it a laptop, a TV or mobile phone.” The constant screen time means tired eyes, which can turn red and itchy.
“High-energy visible (HEV) light or blue light released from these devices not only disrupts our circadian rhythm but also generates free radicals which are responsible for pigmentation, fine lines and premature ageing,” explains the dermatologist. It also leads to an increase in the production of cortisol, a hormone that almost acts like a built-in alarm system. As per WebMD, “Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation and fear.” This, in the long run, leads to dullness and wrinkles. Lastly, an unbalanced diet, as well as less water consumption, also increases the appearance of dark circles.
What happens to your skin if you sleep properly?
A proper sleep cycle can really change your beauty game. And if you are having trouble getting some shut-eye, here’s a guide with easy yoga poses. Dr Jindal points out, “It is scientifically proven that incomplete or disturbed sleep induces high stress-like condition in the body which leads to increased cortisol levels.”
Not getting enough sleep also leads to a suppressed immune system and since the skin is the body’s largest organ, it is equally affected by the imbalance. Stressing on the production of collagen, the dermatologist mentions how it is responsible for providing structural support to our bones, skin, eyes, teeth and blood vessels. “High cortisol levels affect collagen production, decreasing its production in the body, resulting in premature ageing,” comments Dr Jindal.
How to make sure you have your sleep cycle in place
The basic advice: Follow a proper schedule and pattern. Take charge of your sleep cycle. To know more about a sleep cycle, check here.
Monitor your screen time by setting limits. This also allows you to follow a routine social media detox, which also is good for your mental health. Try nurturing hobbies such as gardening or rekindle your love for reading. The dermatologist suggests, “Give utmost importance to eating healthy and staying hydrated.” Make sure you control your salt intake since it contains sodium, which causes the body to retain water and bloat, leading to more prominent under-eye bags.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants, which help in getting the glow back. The dermatologist suggests eating tomatoes, and adds, “They are a rich source of lycopene and beta-carotene and help in improving blood circulation and regeneration of collagen. Watermelon is a fruit rich in water content and essentials minerals and ensures good hydration of the skin. Other beneficial veggies include cucumbers, broccoli and bitter gourd.”