Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

What a difference 2 hours makes! New study reveals shocking impact of just a couple of hours less sleep

skin hero.jpg

We are all well versed in the health benefits of a good night's sleep, from improved concentration to a better sense of general well being.

But what about the effects of sleep on our skin?

Model Jodie Kidd took part in an experiment that tested her skin both after sleeping for eight hours and for six hours, and the results showed noticeable short term damage to her skin after sleeping for a shorter amount of time.

Jodie Kidd

Jodie Kidd's skin after eight hours sleep (left) compared to six hours (right)

The study, commissioned by Bensons for Beds, required Jodie and 30 other female volunteers to have their skin photographed and tested with a Visia machine after one night of sleeping for eight hours and after a five night stretch of sleeping for just six hours.

The results from the average female volunteer showed that fine lines and wrinkles increased in number by 45% while spots increased by 13%.

Some volunteers even had more dramatic changes, such as a 127% increase in spots and an increase in red areas by 68%.


Eight hours sleep (left) compared to six (right)

Although we all know we should be aiming for eight hours of sleep a night it can often be difficult to get the recommended amount of shut-eye, and a huge 46% of the nation regularly only manage a six hour stretch.

You might also like: '10 proven ways to get a great night's sleep

Jodie said, “As a busy working mother, it is quite common that I don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours sleep per night. I have never really thought about how this might affect my skin as I have so many other priorities at the moment."

"Having seen the really quite significant effects of just five nights of six hours sleep, I realise that rest is an important part of it."

skin 3

Eight hours sleep (left) compared to six (right)

The study also tested the effects of sleep on self-esteem. The results showed a 20% drop in self-esteem after the participants had slept for only six hours, with participants feeling 33% less attractive by the end of the study.

Dr Guy Meadows, Founder of The Sleep School and leading UK sleep expert, said, “Sleep is a time for the body to heal, renew and eliminate toxins from the skin. When sleep is reduced, so is the body’s ability to carry out these functions.

You might also like: 'What your sleeping habits say about you

The study showed significant results over a period of just five days, yet the reality is many people are sleeping in this manner for weeks, months and even years, leading to long term consequences for their looks and how they feel about themselves.” 

With long term effects of sleep deprivation including premature ageing of the skin and poor complexion, we're going to be heading for an early night this evening...

skin 4

Eight hours sleep (left) compared to six (right)



Mums celebrate post pregnancy bodies with stretchmark and stomach pics


30 quick and easy ways to style short hair; from pixie crops to bobs


How Marie Kondo's magical tidying up book changed the way I live


The skincare trends you should try in 2015


The complete guide to complimentary beauty treatments

denim hero.jpg

20 beautiful denim pieces you will want to wear all summer



30 beautiful constellation and astronomy ear piercings

Get on board with the latest piercing trend

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Oct 2016

This is the one reason you need to wash your makeup brushes

Be right back, we've got some cleaning to do

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Oct 2016

YouTube star Tanya Burr defends the blogging industry

“Bloggers don't deserve to be vilified”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
14 Oct 2016

“I dream in perfume”: Jo Malone on her life in fragrance

The perfumier tells Stylist of how her remarkable sense of smell has shaped her entire life

by Harriet Hall
14 Oct 2016

Harry Potter make-up is here just in time for Halloween

You can now wear a love potion on your lips

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016

MAC’s new Nutcracker-inspired make-up collection is truly magical

Totally dreamy.

by Moya Crockett
12 Oct 2016

Tiffany Blue nails are now achievable

"I believe in manicures"

by Anna Pollitt
10 Oct 2016

Read my lips: Stylist pays homage to the high-impact lip trend

Bold lips for autumn winter

by Joanna McGarry
10 Oct 2016

How smart is your vagina?

From smart vibrators to clever kegels, technology’s new frontier

by The Stylist web team
03 Oct 2016

Acne could hold the key to youthful looks, says study

And not because it makes you look like a teenager.

by Moya Crockett
28 Sep 2016