Sleep Well To Age Well
In today’s quest for agelessness, women spend a ton of money and time researching, buying and trying out different products that claim to restore collagen, reduce eye puffiness or create glowing skin. But the reality is that many are neglecting their most potent weapon to fight aging – and that’s good quality sleep.
Study shows that many throughout the U.S., particularly women, are very sleep deprived. They are juggling more roles and responsibilities than ever before. Consider the fact that many of them hold full-time jobs, are the primary caregivers for children or parents and still complete the majority of the housework in their homes. The stress of constantly multitasking and being overworked can, and frequently does, lead to problems sleeping. Women between the ages of 30 and 60 get, on average, only six hours and forty-one minutes of sleep each night , well below the average recommendation of between 7 and 9 hours .
Women also experience insomnia more frequently than men, 63% versus 54%. This lack of sleep can sometimes be attributed to lifestyle conditions, such as too much stress, anxiety or depression, a poor diet, too little exercise or self-care and the use of alcohol, caffeine or other substances. Biological factors, such as pregnancy and menopause can also contribute to insomnia .
While adequate sleep should be sought after for its multitude of physical and mental health benefits, it also plays a significant role in the effects of aging, especially since sleep deprivation is linked to aging skin . The time spent sleeping allows the body to rest, replenish and regenerate – this process is prevented when there is a lack of sleep. Furthermore, chronic lack of sleep increases hormones such as cortisol that can cause premature aging and contribute to other health conditions that further accelerate aging, such as hypertension .
However, fortunately, there are some great solutions in the marketplace that can help women get better rest which can help reverse the effects of aging. In fact, by adding more sleep to your routine you can actually help boost the impact of some of those serums and creams that support quality skincare.
Below are several ways to improve your conditions which can lead to more restful and rejuvenating sleep.
Optimize your sleep environment. Our bodies respond to better sleeping conditions which generally means minimizing noise, ensuring there is little to no light and ensuring the temperature is comfortable.
Upgrade your mattress to include the latest in sleep science. The simple fact is that you may be ‘sleeping with the enemy,’ so to speak if your mattress is old. Recent innovations in sleep science include things like zoning technology, cooling features and better materials – all of which can maximize the ability to get more restful sleep.
Create a routine. Our bodies have a natural circadian rhythm and the more we respect that rhythm the better we will feel. A routine that results in great sleep often involves rising and going to sleep at the same time every day and ensuring you have a bit of time to wind down before you sleep.
Avoid TV before bedtime. Watching TV or using a tablet or other mobile device often impairs sleep because the light they emit is disruptive to the circadian rhythm. Avoiding them before bedtime will ensure better sleep.
Exercise daily. Exercise is crucial to physical and mental health. Not only will it keep you feeling youthful, it will help you get better sleep that can make you look younger too.
Bathe or shower in the evening. Many studies have proven that baths and showers can help individuals fall asleep faster and achieve deeper sleep .
Maintain a sleep-friendly diet. Your diet can have a tremendous impact on how well you sleep. Caffeine can continue to have an effect many hours after it has been consumed. Alcohol also contributes to restlessness. Eating late in the evening can also inhibit your ability to fall asleep due to hormonal disruptions.
Over 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep deprivation and this disproportionately impacts women. While there are many unavoidable factors that can contribute to sleeplessness, there are also steps that can be taken that will lead to better rest, rest that allows your body to replenish and restore itself. Getting adequate sleep should be a key ingredient to any beauty routine and the best part is that it doesn’t have to be that costly! Your skin will thank you.
Philip Shen is the CEO of SleepChoices and a 30-year bedding industry veteran with a 20-year history at Leggett & Platt, a Fortune 500 company, and the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier to the mattress and furniture industry. SleepChoices has received numerous recognition for their ergonomically designed mattresses that ensure proper spinal alignment and better sleep. With extensive experience working with industry experts, Philip’s interest is to offer best practices in mattress designs.
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University Hospitals Case Medical Center. (2013, July 13). Sleep deprivation linked to aging skin, study suggests [Press Release].
Steinberg, M. (n.d.). The effects of sleep on your aging process. Healthy Sleep Texas.
Mawer, R. (2018, November 2). 17 proven tips to sleep better at night. Healthline.