When people get to know that I’m a doctor running his own clinic, they immediately come up with questions that are at least remotely medically related. Why’s my hair falling off? Does this rash mean something serious? Why am I getting old? Well, it’s a natural and unavoidable process. But are the symptoms of aging as natural as our getting older? What most people don’t know is that some of those symptoms are actually self-induced, albeit unknowingly. And one of those unknown culprits is lack of sleep. This article focuses on the need for sleeping properly and how to use it as an anti-aging agent.
So how does shutting your eyes and brain help reduce signs of aging? To be honest, that’s just a side effect of the function. But an obvious and clearly observable one. But to understand that, you need to know what happens if you don’t get enough sleep:
Reduced blood pressure: Regular lack of sleep leads to a stable low rate of blood pressure and consequently, poor circulation. This makes your complexion dull. Puffy eye and dark circles are also results of lowered blood circulation rate.
Loss of collagen: Collagen works as our skin’s structural framework or support and is produced in enhanced quantity during sleep. But if you don’t get enough rest, cortisol, which is the prime stress hormone produced by our body, is also produced excessively and breaks down collagen. This leads to sagging and prominent wrinkling.
Loss of growth hormones: Growth hormones are produced only during the deep sleep state. These hormones compensate for the damaged cells by repairing them and producing new ones. Interrupt this process regularly and you risk the possibility of extreme fatigue.
Change in micro-expressions: Micro-expressions are the little things we do with our faces: slight frown, lopsided curves near the edges of our mouth. Humans have an inbuilt tendency to pick this signs up subconsciously. Lack of sleep leads to “tighten nerves” and consequently, sustained micro-expressions which give the impression of always being tired. A tired face and posture make their wielder appear older than they actually are.
HOW MUCH SLEEP?
So naturally the question rises: how much sleep is enough sleep? 7 to 9 hours every night. But that’s 7 to 9 hours straight. You can’t just sleep for 6 hours a night hoping to catch another couple of hours of shuteye during the day to satisfy the requirement. The minimum 7 hours is needed for your body to create growth hormones and repair the damage to your cells, including your eyes, which occur as part of our natural processes. If you rest for 5/6 hours, you’re not even meeting the minimum extreme and simply add to more damaged cell counts. The next 2-hour rest would have their hands full with repairing the cells your body damaged after your woke up from the 5/6 hours’ sleep, not during.
HOW TO SLEEP?
But to be honest, most people don’t get that much sleep these days. And by so doing, they end up damaging their sleep cycle. The wake-sleep cycle is our anatomy’s internal method of signalling when it’s time to sleep and when to wake up. The rest period kicks in as the sun goes down. Regular sleep deprivation leaves this clock confused and could even lead to insomnia.
This breaking of cycle happens due to the interrupted production of melatonin, our sleep inducing hormone. But there are ways to remedy that.
Banana, sour cherry/morello, tomato, oats are natural sources of melatonin. Consume them regularly as the sun goes down and your body’s capacity to produce it would be complemented. This is especially crucial for people who follow strict workout routines.
As you can see, proper amount of sleep makes your body healthier and leads to reduced signs of aging and improved vision. It’s the best anti-aging agent you have at your disposal. Anti-aging products can’t make miracles if your deprive yourself of this crucial requirement.