A solid night's sleep can do wonders for your body. 

By Melanie Abrahams
Updated January 12, 2016
You probably know that you should snooze for seven to nine hours each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But did you know that not sleeping enough may mean a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Plus, naps can improve memory and even help make up for missing nightly Zzs. And it turns out that “beauty sleep” isn’t a myth. During sleep, your body releases a growth hormone that helps restore collagen and elastin, the essential building blocks of young, healthy skin, says Benabio. Recent studies have also shown a connection between insomnia and accelerated aging of the brain, Benabio says. In other words, chronic lack of sleep adversely affects your brain’s function and speeds up the aging process. “Too many of us treat sleep as a luxury instead of a need,” says Benabio. “If I could encourage people do make one healthy change this year, it would be to sleep more.”
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This article originally appeared on MIMI.

I don't know about anybody else, but the term beauty sleep has always confused me—I look terrible in the mornings! Turns out, I've been doing the whole zzzzz's thing wrong by focusing more on cocooning in my blankets than on tending to my skin. Here are six things (way beyond removing your makeup!) that you never knew about nighttime skin care.​

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Braid it, stick it in a pony, or whip it into a high top knot, but whatever you do, tuck those tresses out of the way. "Keeping your hair away from your face helps prevent oils from your hair from transferring to your face and causing acne," says San Francisco-based dermatologist Marie Jhin, MD. "A lot of women are bad at remembering to do this, but it makes a huge difference in terms of breakouts."


"One of the worst things you can do is sleep on your face," says Dr. Jhin. When you sleep on your stomach or on your side, your face scrunches against your pillow and that contributes to added lines and wrinkles on your face. "Lines that you get naturally like on your forehead or crows feet around your eyes from making expressions are very easy to treat with Botox," she says, "but the lines you get from sleeping face-down tend to be vertical and are much harder to take care of."


Satin pillowcases may cost more than the cotton ones that come in your average sheet set, but they're worth it when it comes to looking flawless in the a.m. — especially if you really have trouble sleeping face-up. "Satin is more slippery than cotton," says Dr. Jhin, "so if your face is pressed into it, it's more forgiving and less likely to cause the major smooshing that leads to sleep lines." Bonus? They help keep your hair smoother, too.


Remember the scene from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure where Pee-Wee puts strips of Scotch tape all across his face? We're not asking you to do that, exactly, but sticking Steri Strips or Frownies on your face at bedtime can really help. "If you've already got some sleep lines happening, between your brows or elsewhere, use the tape to pull your skin in the opposite direction from where it would typically fold in," says Dr. Jhin. It can help reverse the damage already done and keep those lines from getting deeper.


"I love humidifiers in the bedroom," says Dr. Jhin. "They're great for keeping your skin from drying out, especially in the winter or if you live in a dry climate." The doctor also suggests keeping a glass of water by your bed to sip on if you wake during the night. "You can never get enough water!," she says.


If you're cleansing your face every night and aren't going to bed with product in your hair, you can get away with changing your pillowcase once a week, according to Dr. Jhin. "When you're putting clean skin on your pillow, the pillow stays cleaner longer," she says, "but don't leave it for more than a week, because the natural oils from your face and hair can still build up on the fabric and lead to breakouts."


If you're prone to puffy eyes from allergies or just tend to have bags under your eyes in the morning, this next tip is pure genius. Dr. Jhin advises sleeping with two pillows instead of just one. "Being up at that angle helps gravity work to your advantage, promoting lymphatic drainage and reducing puffiness."