Dr Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert
A study in "Neurology", the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shows that sleep, or rather lack of it, can shrink areas of the brain. Whether this is cause or effect remains to be seen.
Not only can poor sleeping habits make you tired and miserable the following day, but it can affect the aging process, both mentally and physically.
Sleep quality is generally considered a key anti-aging essential, allowing the brain and body to perform tasks to help optimize its performance. In a study to examine the link between sleep difficulties, such as having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, and brain volume, a total of 35% of the participants met the criteria for poor sleep quality.
The study found that sleep difficulties were linked with a more rapid decline in brain volume in widespread brain regions, including within frontal, temporal and parietal areas. The results were more pronounced in people over 60 years old.
Measures of cortical atrophy were widely correlated with sleep quality.
My recommendations for better sleep:
- Limit eating and drinking before bed - at least 3 hrs, if possible.
- Eliminate exciting episodes before retiring - including TV shows and arguments
- Learn to relax, reduce stress, and if possible, meditate
- Take Melatonin, 3 mg at bedtime. Available over the counter and very cheap. It is also an excellent anti-oxidant.
- If you need to get up in the middle of the night, do not turn on the lights, as this will inactivate melatonin. Use a small flashlight, if necessary.
- Plan to get as much sleep as you need, which for most people is 8 hrs.
- Probably most important, don't sweat the small stuff. It will just keep you up.