For models, sleep may be one of the most important factors in their wellness routines. Yes, exercise and diet is critical, but sleep is just as important. We have underestimated the importance of sleep for decades, but more people are starting to talk about its importance and the role it plays in our health.

So many important things happen when we sleep, and for models, one of the most important roles sleep plays, is in skin care. Overnight is when old skin cells are rejuvenated and rise to the surface. The body registers lack of sleep with stress, and stress triggers cortisol, which can wreak havoc on your skin. Lack of sleep also breaks down the skins natural barrier, lowering its ability to hold onto moisture. This can lead to sensitivity, inflammation, dryness, puffy eyes, dark circles, and wrinkles.

A study done in the UK monitored those who were well rested, and reported that 42% had brighter eyes, 21% had a brighter complexion, and 20% had clearer skin. Dr. Mikhail Varshavski describes sleep as “a fountain of youth we dive into every night.” A good night sleep, along with your favorite overnight serum is the key to a dewy fresh look the next day and over time.

Overnight, your body is also burning calories. (Best workout ever, huh!) For models, toned muscles can be very important, and many strength train. You guessed it – sleep plays a factor in muscle building. Workouts tear at muscles, and sleep restored these muscles. Sleep is crucial for muscle recovery, because this is when the body releases HGH (human growth hormone – what makes muscles grow).

Experts generally recommend 8 hours, but in reality, the best sleep times run in 1.5 hour increments – aligning with our natural REM cycles. A good nights sleep consists of 4 to 5 cycles, so it’s better to set your alarm to go off after 6, 7.5, or even 9 hours of sleep. Waking up in the middle of a REM cycle will lead to hours of brain fog.

So, in order to achieve maximum restorative benefits of sleep, remember, beauty rest is real. Now give yourself that extra 1.5 hours and watch sleep do it’s magic!