Sleep and Your Teenage Skin

Sleep and your teenage skin is written by Christine Cooke, high school class of 2021 with Ashley Koff RD

The amount of sleep you get is going to impact your skin.

Your body uses the time at night to properly heal itself and prepare for the next day. A lot of important things happen while you sleep, and if you don’t sleep enough, those important things don’t happen as well or at all. I am not sure about you, but feeling tired can totally turn my day from good to bad. 

Things that impact your sleep: 

  1. Eating. 

When you have too much to eat, especially right before bed, the digestion system gets a lot of work to do. This can sometimes cause your body to have a hard time falling asleep. 

  1. Work. 

If you are stressed about school work or you stay up late for school work or are just doing stressful things before bed, your mind is still ramped up and it’s going to be hard to sleep.  

  1. Exercise. 

A workout right before sleep makes the body worked up and tense. This makes your body more awake and it will probably take awhile for you to relax before sleeping. If you need to workout late, you need a recovery strategy to help your body move into relaxation mode, fast.

  1. Stress. 

When your mind is buzzing, it is not going to help you fall asleep. Your sleep schedule should not be a point of stress for you. 

Your lack of sleep directly correlates with your skin, and oftentimes the stress you feel from lack of sleep is also not doing your skin any favors. 

So…  HELP! How can I sleep better? 

First, relax your body!

  • Get in enough magnesium to relax. Magnesium is Mother Nature’s muscle relaxant because it calms your muscles and helps the body’s cells turn off their stress response.
  • Eat a better snack/dinner after working out at night – make sure you’re not eating a digestive workload, but you are giving your body nutrients for recovery. 


  • Make sure you are getting in enough water and potassium.
  • Did you know potassium escorts water into the cells, so if you don’t have enough the water just leaves your body.
  • Try adding avocado, banana, coconut water and/or potatoes into your diet.

Manage your workload 

  • FYI: You won’t get everything done, you need to prioritize things. Maybe that means stopping your homework early so you can finish it in the morning or maybe it’s using all the time in the car ride. Don’t sacrifice sleep over a small homework assignment. Figure out what works best for you. 

Bad sleep will happen, here’s a better plan

On days where you don’t get good sleep, the next day you are more likely to crave caffeine and sugar. Cravings are very hard to ignore but these choices can be worse for your skin. So, here are some things to think about: 

  • On days where you don’t get sleep, carbohydrates give your body GOOD sugar. The craving you might be having for ice cream can be solved by making your breakfast have some carbs. Don’t overdo it, but try choosing for breakfast some sweet potato fries because it gives you sugar, but not bad or processed sugar. Plus the orange packs nutrients that are great for your skin.
  • Throughout the day, every three hours, pit stop for some balanced nutrition – carbs, fats, and protein. You could have a banana and peanut butter or a turkey sandwich with avocado.
  • If you do have caffeine, space it out so you don’t get the high and then drop off. 

All in all, pay attention to your body.

If you are tense or worked up, trying to relax, try getting in magnesium and stepping away from your computer to go for a walk (without looking at Tik Tok or Instagram).

Be conscious about eating a big meal before sleeping and likewise, avoid exerting a ton of energy just before bed.

Be a better friend to yourself. Make sure you aren’t giving yourself a hard time about school work because it won’t be the end of the world, your body will thank you in the morning.