Sleep experts say that sleep is critical to your health - a good night's rest can help improve concentration and memory, allow your body to repair cell damage, and refresh your immune system.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can contribute to all sorts of scary things like osteoporosis, stroke and diabetes, and memory loss. And now, just to completely scare you (in case you don't care about stroke and heart disease) lack of sleep can even AGE YOU. Hear that, Hollywood?
A recent clinical trial sleep study found a link between sleep deprivation and skin aging.
“Poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night,” said Daniel Yarosh, MD, senior vice president, Basic Science Research, R&D, at The Estée Lauder Companies.
In the study, good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors to the skin like sunburn and redness of the skin. (Hmmm, Estee Lauder funding a sleep study...perhaps to sell more night renewal repair serum? )
Even more motivation to get your ZZ's… a University of Michigan study reported patients using an sleep apnea system called CPAP to help them breath better, were rated in photos as MORE ALERT, YOUTHFUL and ATTRACTIVE after sleep treatment. (According to U of M Health.org.)
As we age, we already have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, so what can we do to help secure a good night's rest?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:
1) Daily Exercise (as long as it's not right before bed, when you should be "winding down.")
2) Set a sleep schedule where you wake up and go to bed at the same time regularly.
3) Keep your bedroom COOL (not warm), dark and quiet, making it a sanctuary.
In an older article about catching your ZZZ's, I also mention taking a relaxing warm bath before bedtime, and making sure you get plenty of Vitamin B for stress, and magnesium which can help induce sleep.
If it's not your mattress that is causing you to lose sleep, you might consider springing for new sheets. If you are SERIOUS about your sleep, and want to sleep like a PRO, check out SHEEX performance sheets (www.sheex.com), recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
These cozy soft sheets are inspired by athletic performance fabrics…you know, that thin, soft work-out material that helps keep temperature down and moisture away?
SHEEX provide enhanced breathability, advanced temperature control and optimal moisture-wicking that cotton sheets can only, well, dream of. What a cool idea!
Sure, these sheets are wonderful for athletes who need their cool sleep for high performance activities, but if you are an over 40+ female experiencing any kind of menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, these sheets are for you! SHEEX releases trapped body heat 2x better than traditional cotton bedding and breaths almost 50% better than cotton. This makes sure you don't get too hot and wake up. SHEEX also wicks away moisture. You will NEVER wake up drenched in sweat, entangled in wrinkled sheets again.
I've been using SHEEX now for over 2 weeks and can definitely see a difference in the quality of my sleep. They are very inviting and keep me cool and dry at night. Plus, no more wrinkled sheets!
SHEEX are available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Brookstone stores all over Los Angeles and the country. They can also be purchased at www.sheex.com.
Sleeping better and longer can lead to lower blood pressure, increased energy and improved mood and alertness.
Now, thanks to the advice of the National Sleep Foundation and SHEEX, we can all LOOK better in the morning, too.
They Don't Call It "Beauty Sleep" for Nothin',
~The Anti-Aging Analyst