“Gosh, you look tired today.”
This is a line you’ll likely hear quite often if your uncomfortable, lumpy mattress is keeping you awake at night. Even if you manage to get sufficiently caffeinated to stifle your yawning, your family and friends can intuitively pick up on the physical changes in your appearance that indicate a bad night’s sleep.
Those notorious under-eye bags aren’t just an urban legend—they really are caused by sleep deprivation.
The skin under your eyes is different. This skin is thinner, which means that the blood vessels are closer to the surface. When you don’t get enough restorative sleep at night, your blood vessels dilate. This causes an increase in blood flow, and since the skin under your eyes is thinner, the dark tint caused by the increased volume of blood is more noticeable here.
In other words, sleep deprivation causes dark circles. It can also cause eye bags, which is the puffy, swollen appearance of the under-eye area. This can occur when fluids leak into the skin.
Research indicates that dark circles and puffy eyes aren’t the only cosmetic consequences of lack of sleep. Hanging eyelids or “sleepy eyes,” reddened eyes, pale skin, and droopiness in the corners of the mouth are all associated with sleep deprivation. According to the National Institutes of Health, study participants have even reported that people who are sleep deprived seem to have more noticeable fine lines and wrinkles, and that these individuals look much sadder than people who got a good night’s sleep.
So what can you do about the unsightly effects of sleep deprivation? It’s simple: Get more sleep.
For many people, the problem lies with their mattress. If yours is older than about seven to 10 years, it may be time to consider replacing it. Similarly, replace your mattress if it feels uncomfortable, or if you wake up with aches and pains that you didn’t have when you went to sleep.
Try out a variety of new mattresses to find the best one for your needs. If you have a sleep partner, make sure your new bed gives both of you plenty of room. And if your partner snores, consider investing in an adjustable bed base. Few things contribute to sleepless nights quite like snoring. With an adjustable bed, your partner can sleep with the upper body slightly elevated to encourage an open airway.
Even if you do decide to purchase a new mattress, you’ll probably want a quick fix for your current cosmetic dilemma. Dampen two tea bags in cool water, and place them under your eyes for a few minutes. The type of tea doesn’t matter. The tannic acid in the tea will help the blood vessels constrict and the fluid to stop leaking into the skin.
Mattress World Northwest is a premier provider of high-quality mattresses in the Portland area. Our Sleep Specialists can help you find the bed that keeps you cradled in comfort all night long. Stop by today, and ask us about our free delivery and Comfort Guarantee.