Does Lack of Sleep Cause Dark Circles?

Dark Circles Around Eyes

Yes, lack of sleep can contribute to the development of dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, several physiological changes can occur that may lead to the appearance of dark circles:

  • Blood vessel dilation: Sleep deprivation can cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased blood flow. This can result in a darker appearance of the blood vessels under the thin skin around the eyes.
  • Fluid retention: Lack of sleep can lead to fluid retention, causing puffiness and swelling around the eyes. This can make the dark circles more noticeable.
  • Skin paleness: Fatigue and lack of sleep can lead to paler skin. When the skin is paler, the blood vessels beneath the surface become more visible, contributing to the appearance of dark circles.
  • Increased cortisol levels: Sleep deprivation may lead to elevated cortisol levels (a stress hormone). Higher cortisol levels can affect the skin’s collagen, making it thinner and more translucent, which can accentuate the appearance of dark circles.

While lack of sleep is a common factor, there are other contributors to the development of dark circles, including genetics, aging, allergies, and skin pigmentation. Taking steps to improve sleep hygiene and addressing underlying causes, such as allergies or stress, may help reduce the prominence of dark circles.

If you are consistently experiencing dark circles and are concerned about their appearance, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional. They can help identify the specific factors contributing to your dark circles and provide guidance on appropriate treatments or lifestyle changes.

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