Poor sleep is the number one mistake that makes you age faster, says a longevity expert.
dr Neil Paulvin, a New York-based regenerative medicine physician, claims that regularly missing out on a good night’s sleep could age you beyond your years.
Many people sleep less than the recommended amount due to the pressures of modern life, work and social gatherings.
However, this could wreak havoc on your body — including accelerated aging.
dr Paulvin wrote for CNBC: “Based on my experience, I’ve found that poor sleep quality is the number one mistake that makes you age faster.
“In our fast-paced lives, sleep is often sacrificed, whether by choice or necessity. There is growing evidence that good sleep is the key to a healthy life.
“When we sleep, the body regenerates. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night helps improve cellular and tissue health, cognitive function, immunity, energy levels and metabolism.”
The NHS recommends that British adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, although some people naturally sleep more than others.
Almost one in five Brits does not get enough sleep, according to Mental Health UK.
Teenagers, children and babies need more eyes as they are still growing. A newborn needs between eight and 16 hours a day.
dr Paulvin said that not taking kip in adulthood can cause skin to age faster and develop wrinkles.
Collagen and elastin are two proteins that help keep skin firm and plump as we age.
However, research published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology shows that lack of sleep can impair the quality and strength of both proteins, leading to lines and sagging.
Not sleeping can also increase your risk of cognitive decline, memory loss and Alzheimer’s, he said.
The bug can also damage your body’s immune system and weaken your ability to fight off disease.
Six ways to sleep better
dr Paulvin recommends you make six simple lifestyle changes to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Be consistent: Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day helps maintain your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
- Get morning sun: Natural mid-morning sunlight helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm — the cycle that makes us awake or sleepy
- Limit alcohol and caffeine: You should stop drinking caffeine eight hours before bedtime and stop drinking alcohol three hours before bedtime
- Reduce screen time: Looking at the blue backlight on your devices before bed has been shown to interfere with your sleep
- Stick to a routine: Relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath signal the body to switch off
- Invest in the bedroom: A good mattress, sheets and an eye mask can help you feel relaxed at night