Can You Fight Aging with Healthy Sleep Habits?
When you think about your nightly routine…do you think you have healthy sleep habits? Most people probably don’t think about how they sleep, their true quality of sleep, or how it might affect the signs of aging.
Healthy sleep habits and natural anti-aging go hand in hand, since getting enough rest contributes to your skin’s overall health and appearance.
John Axelsson, of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, in a study published in a British Medical Journal said, “Our findings show that sleep-deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive, and more tired compared with when they are well rested."1
When you sleep, your body takes time to rejuvenate itself and work on cellular regeneration which is crucial to slowing down aging and is even more important to your skin and hair.
In the United States, more than 20% of Caucasian adults report not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation in other races are as much as 40%. Sleep deprivation is determined by your pattern of sleep over the course of one month.2
If you consistently get less than eight hours of sleep or don’t achieve “restful” sleep, chances are you’re one of the many who are sleep deprived.
How Chronic Diseases Are Linked to Sleep Loss
Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked to chronic sleep loss. "It's no secret that we live in a 24/7 society," says Carl Hunt, MD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health.
"People just don't realize how important sleep is, and what the health consequences are of not getting a good night's sleep on a regular basis. Sleep is just as important for overall health as diet and exercise."3
Not getting enough rest is so common that we don’t typically talk about it to friends and family or to our doctors. Oftentimes, you may feel if you can get by on 4 to 6 hours of sleep, and in our 24/7 society it’s looked at as a badge of honor to sleep as little as possible.
Every minute spent not getting enough shut eye - you’re weakening your immune system, and even creating the circumstances that can contribute to depression. Through it all, your skin is suffering.
How you sleep is also important.
Sleeping on your stomach with your face pressed into your pillow can create premature wrinkles. Try sleeping on your side or your back. If you can’t break yourself out of your sleeping position, consider using a silk or satin pillowcase or high thread count pillowcase.
Changing your sheets regularly is also extremely important.4 Oils, dirt, and dead skin slough off while you sleep and you don’t want to press your sensitive face into that night after night.
Get On a Schedule for Healthy Sleep Habits
Your body has certain physical, mental, and behavioral patterns it follows every day. This is known as circadian rhythm.
This rhythm is influenced by factors in your body as well as environmental input such as day and night, work schedules that force the body to operate at varying times, and even jet lag.
Disruptions in your circadian rhythm can lead to insomnia, depression, and bipolar disorder.5
Giving your body a schedule of rest it can depend will help you mentally and emotionally. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily even on the weekends. After you’ve gotten yourself into a regular sleep pattern, consider how you wake up.
Waking up with a wake up light is a gentle easier way of waking up then with a screaming alarm clock. A wake up light uses gradually increasing light (some contain nature sounds) to give you the most comfortable way to wake up.
If your desired time for waking is at 7:00 am then the light will start at a low glow at 6:30 am then gradually increase until it reaches its brightest point at 7:00 am.
The results of getting into healthy sleep habits will be clearly seen on your gorgeous face and reflected in a healthier and happier you.
1 Huffington Post – Healthy Living: Beauty Sleep is No Myth, Study Finds
2 Psych Central: Sleep Deprivation Common Among Americans
3 WebMD: The Toll of Sleep Loss in America
4 About.com – Skin Care: Top 10 Ways to Prevent Acne
5 National Institute of General Medical Sciences: Circadian Rhythms Fact Sheet