The key to looking younger may be as simple as getting eight hours of sleep each night

The secret to looking young can be found in your lifestyle habits. While it is true that genetics determines how your face will look like as you age, your lifestyle plays a stronger role in how old you look. Simply getting eight hours of sleep is enough to improve skin quality and texture.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to aging skin. In fact, just one night of partial sleep deprivation was shown to severely impact gene expression patterns associated with biological aging. A 2015 study published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine concluded that lack of sleep dramatically affects body function. Those who do not receive eight hours of restful sleep actively age their body, making them look and feel older.

Other studies confirm this. Poor sleep can accelerate signs of aging and slow down recovery from damage such as sunburn. Women who lack sleep were twice more likely to develop fine lines around the mouth and nose, have uneven skin tone, and show a slackening of the skin. In addition, women with poor sleeping habits tended to rate themselves as more unattractive compared to their peers.

Director of the Skin Study Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Dr. Elma Baron said, “sleep-deprived women show signs of premature skin ageing [sic].”

The body needs sleep to clear out toxic byproducts accumulated naturally throughout the day. A good night’s sleep is your body’s “reset” button. It is during sleep that the body releases growth hormones that repair damaged tissue. Research show that people who lack sleep are often irritable and stressed. Consistent and chronic stress disrupts the adrenal system, which is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response. While this is necessary for survival, hormone fluctuations can also lead to dry or cracked skin. This, in turn, adds to stress levels. It is a vicious cycle that can be easily prevented.

Sleep deprivation is also linked to several conditions and illnesses, such as weight gain, cardiac disorders, and weakened immune system. Not getting enough sleep invariably affects your health.

Other factors that prematurely age skin

Nutritionists point to the negative effects of poor diet in one’s beauty. Excessive consumption of sugar dehydrates the skin. Dehydration leads to skin conditions and discomfort. Dry or cracked skin makes women look older than they really are. It is recommended that women apply moisturizers daily and drink lots of water. Alcohol is also a risk factor. Drinking too much causes you to flush out a lot of nutrients from the body.

It is also necessary to maintain a healthy weight. A study showed that women with a BMI over 25 cut their chance of having young-looking skin by a fifth. Obesity is linked with other risk factors as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of obesity-related deaths each year is around 300,000. This number is expected to rise due to the overwhelming number of people who are obese. It is estimated that one in every four American women are obese, while a third of the male population in the U.S. is overweight. Being fat not only carries health risks but affects the skin elasticity as well.

Not surprisingly, the biggest skin aging agent out there is excessive sun exposure. Sunlight is necessary for the body to produce vitamin D. However, the harmful ultraviolet light can damage skin tissue, especially if whole body nutrition is lacking.

The skin is the largest organ in the body. Dermatologists say that the skin is a good indicator of your overall health. It’s not only about looking younger. Having beautiful, young-looking skin can also be reflective of a healthy overall system.


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