Does Sleeping Late Cause Acne?

Written by Dr. Lozynska Liudmyla Yaroslavivna on Mon, 12 February 2024

Key Highlights

  • Inadequate sleep can lead to acne through hormonal imbalances, increased inflammation, and impaired skin repair.
  • A dedicated skincare routine, both in the morning and evening, is vital for addressing acne caused by irregular sleep.
  • Consistent sleep schedules, good sleep hygiene, stress management, hydration, and a balanced diet play a crucial role in combating sleep-related acne.
  • Choosing the right products, like sleeping masks tailored for different skin types, can aid in treating and preventing acne. 


Acne, a prevalent skin issue, often raises the question: does sleeping late cause acne? This article delves into the impact of sleep patterns, particularly how sleeping late might influence acne development.

We'll explore various aspects, from sleep and acne correlation to the benefits of sleep for skin, providing a comprehensive understanding of the underlying factors.

What Is Acne?

Acne manifests as pimples, blackheads, and cysts due to clogged hair follicles. Hormonal changes, inflammation, and external factors like lack of sleep skin issues contribute to its occurrence.

Can Sleeping Late Cause Acne?

Can Sleeping Late Cause Acne?

The notion that sleeping late causes acne is backed by evidence suggesting that irregular sleep patterns can disrupt hormonal balance and skin repair processes. So, the question you have been asking “does sleep late cause acne” finds relevance in understanding the body's circadian rhythms and their effect on skin health.

  • Disruption of Circadian Rhythms: The body's circadian rhythms play a vital role in regulating various physiological processes, including hormone production and skin cell turnover. Sleeping late can disrupt these rhythms, leading to imbalances that adversely affect skin health.
  • Hormonal Fluctuations: One of the most significant effects of altered sleep patterns is on hormonal balance. Hormones like cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can increase with lack of sleep. Elevated cortisol levels can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, leading to clogged pores and acne.
  • Impaired Skin Repair and Regeneration: During sleep, the skin undergoes crucial repair and regeneration processes. Sleep skin repair mechanisms help in healing existing skin damage and preventing new acne lesions.
  • Increased Inflammation: Inadequate or irregular sleep can lead to systemic inflammation, exacerbating acne. The skin's inflammatory response is heightened, making existing acne worse and potentially triggering new breakouts.
  • Weakened Immune Response: Sleep is essential for maintaining a robust immune system. A lack of proper sleep can weaken the body's immune response, making it less effective in fighting off acne-causing bacteria.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Poor sleep often results in increased stress and anxiety levels, which can further exacerbate acne. Stress can also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like picking or scratching at the skin, which can worsen acne conditions.
  • Neglect of Skincare Regimen: When individuals sleep late, they might skip or rush through their skin care before sleep routines. This neglect can contribute to the buildup of dirt, oil, and makeup, which can clog pores and lead to acne.

How Lack Of Sleep Can Trigger Acne?

Lack of sleep acne is a significant concern, with several underlying factors contributing to its development. Understanding these factors can help in addressing the question: can lack of sleep cause acne?

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal imbalances, with a particular increase in stress hormones like cortisol. This imbalance can exacerbate hormonal acne, making it crucial to consider a hormonal acne diet to mitigate these effects.
  • Inflammation: Inadequate sleep or sleeping late causes acne and can trigger heightened inflammatory responses in the body. This increased inflammation can aggravate skin conditions, making a valid concern for those with inflammatory skin issues.
  • Weakened Immune System: A reduction in sleep duration and quality can impair the immune system's function, impacting its ability to combat acne-causing bacteria. This relationship between sleep and acne is vital for understanding how sleep affects overall skin health.
  • Increased Stress: High stress levels, often a result of poor sleep, can lead to an increase in acne flare-ups. This is where skin care before sleep becomes essential, as it can help alleviate skin stress and prevent breakouts.
  • Poor Skincare Habits: Neglecting skin care before sleep, such as not removing makeup or failing to cleanse the skin properly, can exacerbate skin issues, especially when combined with inadequate sleep.
  • Increased Skin Sensitivity and Weakened Skin Barrier Function: Insufficient sleep can make the skin more sensitive to external irritants and weaken the skin's barrier function, contributing to acne development.
  • Slower Skin Healing: The sleep skin repair process is critical for recovering from acne. This natural healing process is impaired when sleep is compromised, slowing down the recovery from existing acne lesions.

To counteract these effects, incorporating a best sleeping mask for oily skin or a sleeping mask for sensitive skin into your nighttime routine can be beneficial.

For those with dry skin, the best Korean sleeping mask for dry skin can provide the necessary hydration and aid in the skin repair process. Additionally, ensure you take eight hours of sleep, drink water and treat your skin to further enhance and fast forward the benefits of sleep for skin.

To answer the question, does sleeping late cause acne can be answered affirmatively, considering the myriad of ways in which lack of sleep impacts skin health. Addressing these sleep-related factors can significantly improve skin condition and reduce the occurrence of acne.

Skincare Routine To Cure Acne Caused By Irregular Sleep

Skincare Routine To Cure Acne Caused By Irregular Sleep

Acne exacerbated by irregular sleep patterns, often referred to as lack of sleep acne, requires a dedicated skincare routine. Both morning and evening regimens are crucial in addressing the impact of disrupted sleep on skin health.

Morning Routine

  • Cleansing: Start your day with a gentle cleanser to remove overnight oil build-up and prepare your skin for subsequent products.
  • Toning: A toner can help to balance the skin's pH and reduce the appearance of pores.
  • Moisturizing: Select one moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type. For those wondering “Does sleeping late cause acne” - using a non-comedogenic moisturizer is ideal to prevent clogging pores.
  • Sunscreen: It is vital to protect your skin from UV rays. A broad-spectrum sunscreen helps prevent acne scars from darkening and guards against harmful UV damage.

Evening Routine

  • Makeup Removal and Cleansing: Thoroughly removing makeup and cleansing your skin is essential, especially if you have a recurring question - “can sleeping late cause acne?” It prevents the trapping of dirt and bacteria that can exacerbate acne.
  • Exfoliation: Doing this 1-2 times a week helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. However, be gentle to avoid irritating acne-prone skin.
  • Treatment Products: Use products that target acne, such as those containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. For those following a hormonal acne diet, products that complement this regimen can be beneficial.
  • Moisturizing: A crucial step for sleep skin repair, moisturizing helps in maintaining the skin's barrier function.
  • Sleeping Mask: A sleeping mask for acne can provide intensive overnight treatment. For those tired of searching for answers regarding the question “Can lack of sleep cause acne”, using the best sleeping mask for oily skin or a sleeping mask for sensitive skin, is recommended. For dry skin, the best Korean sleeping mask for dry skin might be an excellent choice.

Additional Tips To Combat Acne Caused By Irregular Sleep

Enhancing sleep quality is crucial in managing and preventing acne, especially when you have a recurring question “can sleeping late cause acne” going on in the back of your head.

Here are additional strategies to address acne that may be exacerbated by irregular sleep patterns:

  • Prioritize Consistent Sleep: Establishing a regular sleep schedule is fundamental in mitigating the adverse effects of acne from sleeping late. Consistency in sleep patterns helps in maintaining the body's circadian rhythms, which is vital for sleep skin repair and overall skin health.
  • Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene: Good sleep hygiene involves creating an environment conducive to restful sleep. This includes having a comfortable mattress and pillows, reducing exposure to blue light before bedtime, and maintaining a cool, dark, and quiet sleeping environment. Improved sleep hygiene is essential for reducing the lack of sleep skin issues.
  • Manage Stress and Stay Hydrated: Stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and regular exercise can be effective in reducing stress-related acne. Additionally, it's important to take adequate sleep, drink water and treat your skin to maintain a healthy skin. Drinking enough water helps in detoxifying the body and keeping the skin hydrated.
  • Balanced Diet and Hormonal Acne Diet: Incorporating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can support skin health. For those dealing with hormonal imbalances, a hormonal acne diet that targets specific triggers can be beneficial.
  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Reducing the intake of caffeine and alcohol, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, can improve sleep quality. These substances can disrupt sleep patterns, resulting in the recurrent question, “Can lack of sleep cause acne?”
  • Acne Treatment Products: Selecting the right skincare products is essential. For those with oily skin, the best sleeping mask for oily skin can provide targeted treatment while you sleep. Similarly, a sleeping mask for sensitive skin or a sleeping mask for acne can address specific skin concerns. For those in dryer climates or with dry skin types, the best Korean sleeping mask for dry skin can offer additional hydration and care.
  • Skin Care Before Sleep: A thorough nighttime skincare routine is crucial. This includes proper cleansing to remove dirt and makeup, applying treatments or serums specific for acne-prone skin, and using products that aid in sleep skin repair.


So, your question “Does sleeping late cause acne?” have been answered. Ensuring regular, quality sleep is not just beneficial for overall health but also plays a critical role in maintaining clear and healthy skin. By understanding and addressing the impact of sleep on skin, individuals can take proactive steps towards reducing acne and enhancing their skin's appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sleeping early aids in skin repair and hormonal balance, reducing stress hormones and enhancing skin health through natural regenerative processes. 

Completely eliminating acne is challenging and varies per individual, but it can be significantly managed with proper skincare, lifestyle changes, and medical treatments. 

Yes, proper skincare routines can partially counteract the effects of late sleeping, but they are most effective when combined with improved sleep habits. 

Sleeping on your back is best to prevent acne, as it minimizes face-to-pillowcase contact, reducing the transfer of oils and bacteria. 

Both sleep quality and quantity impact acne-prone skin. Poor sleep quality can disrupt hormonal balance, while insufficient quantity increases stress and inflammation. 

High-sugar, dairy, and certain fatty foods can worsen acne when consumed late at night, triggering hormonal fluctuations and inflammation. 

Yes, pillowcases and bed sheets can contribute to acne due to the accumulation of bacteria, oils, and dead skin cells. Regular washing is recommended. 

Choose a sleep mask labeled non-comedogenic, oil-free, and containing acne-fighting ingredients. Opt for hydrating but non-greasy formulas, suitable for your specific skin type. 


Dr. Lozynska Liudmyla Yaroslavivna

She graduated from Lviv National Medical University. She has a specialization in psychiatry and psychotherapy. She have published scientific articles: “Anemia of Pregnant Women”; “Urinary Tract Infections”.

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Current Version

Feb, 12 2024

Written By

Dr. Lozynska Liudmyla Yaroslavivna