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Why 'beauty sleep' is real, according to doctors

Published: September 12, 2018

by: Nicole Spector, NBC News

A new survey found that well-rested people report having a brighter complexion, clearer skin and fewer wrinkles.

“Are you okay? You look tired.”

I can’t come close to counting how many times someone has said this to me, and no matter the empathetic tone in their voice, it’s never a compliment. Basically, they’re saying I look like crap — specifically my face. My eyes are puffy and red with dark half-moons below. My skin is blotchy and my coloring is wan.

On these occasions, you could say I didn’t get my “beauty sleep,” (a term that, according to, is defined as “sleep before midnight, assumed to be necessary for one's beauty” and “any extra sleep”); but actually what I probably didn’t get, was a good night’s sleep, period.

The act of sleep, doctors concur, plays a chief role in giving one a healthy appearance. This is a fact that many of us can vouch for even if we don’t know the science behind it. A new survey by Sealy in the UK found that well-rested people reported having brighter eyes (42 percent), a brighter complexion (21 percent), clearer skin (20 percent), fewer wrinkles (17 percent) and improved skin condition (11 percent).

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