It happens gradually until one day, you wake up, face the mirror, and you are taken aback by what you see. Your skin doesn’t have that same youthfulness it once had. The lines on your forehead begin to form permanent creases, and the color under your eyes is a little darker.
Aging is a reality of life, and just as we grow older on the outside, our cells age too. Sleep loss speeds up this process even more so for older adults. UCLA researchers discovered just one night of insufficient sleep can make an adult's cell age quicker than normal. You may think it’s just skin-deep but it has the potential to bring on a lot of other diseases.
While we are sleeping, our bodies perform "maintenance" on our cells by replacing aging parts with new ones. It's called cellular turnover. So when you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t do this process correctly and aging builds up inside of cells which causes them to age faster.
Not only does sleep loss make us look older, but it also makes us feel older too! Poor sleep has been linked to various aging conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. It’s clear that getting enough good quality sleep every night is important for aging well.
So what's the magic number? Researchers say 7-8 hours of sleep a night is ideal, but every individual needs something different and it’s important to find out your body's personal requirement.
There are a few other things you could try to get a better night’s sleep, even as a longtime sufferer of sleep deprivation.
Finding a balance between comfort and optimal sleeping conditions is vital to getting sufficient sleep. Getting your bedroom to the right temperature is part of this process. As we’re getting closer to the colder months, you can prepare by looking at healthy ways to keep warm in bed such as using a water-heated mattress pad, which doesn’t emit harmful EMF waves, unlike your usual electric blankets.
By getting enough good quality sleep and observing healthy habits, you can help protect yourself from aging conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes and look younger for longer.
Remember that aging includes not only the outside appearance by also health on the inside so always think about how your sleep affects aging!
We hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for reading!