We have all been there, looking in the mirror after a bad nights sleep, only to see washed out skin, under eye bags with dark circles starring back. Sleep deprivation has been found to hasten the aging process (Robillard, Prince, Filipini, & Carrier, 2011) increase risk of obesity, reduce immune function, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, all-cause mortality, depression, irritability, cognitive decline, and reduced well-being (1). Surprisingly, sleep is given little attention as an important component involved in a healthy lifestyle.
According to the National Sleep Foundation adults aged 18 and 65 should get at least 7 to 9 hours and those 65 and older 7-8 hours of sleep per night (Hirshkowitz, Whiton, Albert, et al., 2015). Studies indicate that many Canadians are not getting enough sleep or a good quality of sleep.
There are several factors that can interfere with our ability to sleep, which include psychological problems such as depression, stress, pain, tobacco smoke exposure, exercise in the evening (Altun, Cinar & Dede, 2012), the use of technology (ie., IPhone, IPad) within one hour of bedtime (Gradisar, Wolfson, Harvey, Hale, Rosenberg & Czeisler, 2013), alcohol consumption (Park, Oh, Lee, Kim, Lee, … Kim, 2015), caffeine consumption (Drake, Roehrs, Shambroom & Roth, 2013) and bladder function (Ancoli-Israel, Bliwise & Nørgaard, 2011).
Chronic stress can lead to chronic inflammation, hormone changes, and lowered immunity which hastens the aging process (Lavretsky & Newhouse, 2012).
Practical ways of coping with stress include identifying the source of the stressor, finding solutions to reduce or eliminate the stress source or being patient if no immediate solution can be exercised, and identifying and utilizing available resources to reduce stress,
Not only is smoking bad for general health but is linked to premature skin aging. Smoking impairs collagen production, degrades elastin fibers and impairs healing (Ellis, 2018; Morita, 2007). Collagen and elastin are primary components in the dermis which gives the skin its youthful appearance.
Smoking is highly addictive and hard to quit. However, there are several smoking cessation resources. For more information, please click the PDF file under "Guide to Quit Smoking."
High Plant-Based Diet
A high plant-based diet, such as the Mediterranean diet has been clinically proven to reduce chronic inflammation -a primary cause of chronic disease
(Mourouti, Panagiotakos, Kotteas, & Syrigos, 2017); Romagnolo & Selmin, 2017) so much so it is highly recommended for cancer survivors (Mourouti, Panagiotakos, Kotteas & Syrigos, 2017). Furthermore, hormones given to animals processed for human consumption have questionable health implications, which require further non-biased studies (Larrea & Chirinos ,2007). Lastly, antibiotics (up to 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US) are given to animals processed for human consumption, which has been linked as a cause for the development of bacteria resistance to antibiotics (Aguirre, 2017).
Meat consumption has been studied to cause internal inflammation leading to chronic disease and even cancer
(Chai, Morimoto, Cooney, Franke, Shvetsov, Le Marchand, & ... Le Marchand, 2017; Schwedhelm, Pischon, Rohrmann, Himmerich, Linseisen & Nimptsch, 2017).
Chronic inflammation is the root of aging and disease.
Exercise gets the heart pumping and the blood moving. Regular exercise increases muscle tone and body metabolism. In recent studies, regular exercise has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation thereby reducing risk of chronic disease such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease while reducing the speed of aging (Woods, Wilund, Martin & Kistler, 2012).
According to the Center for Disease control, 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is recommended to promote these benefits (2015).
Sun exposure accounts for up to 90% of our skins aging. In a randomized controlled trial, daily sunscreen application halted aging of the skin where the sunscreen was applied. These results were studied over the course of 4.5 years (Hughes, Williams, Baker & Green, 2013). An SPF of 50 is only 2% more effective as a sun blocker than an SPF 30. We recommend a broad spectrum SPF such as ZO Oclipse SPF 30 primer. You have to LOVE your sunscreen. Otherwise you won't use it!
Aguirre, E. (2017). Contagion Without Relief: Democratic Experimentalism and Regulating the Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals. UCLA Law Review, 64(3), 550-601.
Altun, I., Cınar, N., & Dede, C. (2012). The contributing factors to poor sleep experiences in according to the university students: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(6), 557–561.
Chai, W., Morimoto, Y., Cooney, R. V., Franke, A. A., Shvetsov, Y. B., Le Marchand, L., & ... Le Marchand, L. (2017). Dietary Red and Processed Meat Intake and Markers of Adiposity and Inflammation: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Journal Of The American College Of Nutrition, 36(5), 378-385. doi:10.1080/07315724.2017.1318317
Dolezal, B. A., Neufeld, E. V., Boland, D. M., Martin, J. L., & Cooper, C. B. (2017). Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review. Advances in Preventive Medicine, 2017, 1364387. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1364387
Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : JCSM : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195–1200. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3170
Ellis, P. (2018). The impact of smoking on wound healing: the role of the nurse. British Journal Of Nursing, 27(6), S10-S14. doi:10.12968/bjon.2018.27.6.S10
Hughes, M. B., Williams, G. M., Baker, P., & Green, A. C. (2013). Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 158(11), 781-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002
Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Colten HR, Altevogt BM, eds. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2006.
Gradisar, M., Wolfson, A. R., Harvey, A. G., Hale, L., Rosenberg, R., & Czeisler, C. A. (2013). The Sleep and Technology Use of Americans: Findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America Poll. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : JCSM : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(12), 1291–1299. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3272
Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, et al. National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations: Final report. Sleep Health 2015; 1: 233-43.
Larrea, F., & Chirinos, M. (2007). [Impact on human health of hormonal additives used in animal production]. Revista De Investigacion Clinica; Organo Del Hospital De Enfermedades De La Nutricion, 59(3), 206-211.
Lavretsky, H., & Newhouse, P. A. (2012). Stress, Inflammation and Aging. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(9), 729–733. http://doi.org/10.1097/JGP.0b013e31826573cf
Park, S.-Y., Oh, M.-K., Lee, B.-S., Kim, H.-G., Lee, W.-J., Lee, J.-H., … Kim, J.-Y. (2015). The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep. Korean Journal of Family Medicine, 36(6), 294–299. http://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.6.294
Mourouti, N., Panagiotakos, D. B., Kotteas, E. A., & Syrigos, K. N. (2017). Review article: Optimizing diet and nutrition for cancer survivors: A review. Maturitas, 105(Health and wellbeing after cancer), 33-36. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.05.012
Morita, A. (2007). Invited review article: Tobacco smoke causes premature skin aging. Journal Of Dermatological Science, 48169-175. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.06.015
Romagnolo, D. F., & Selmin, O. I. (2017). Mediterranean Diet and Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Nutrition Today, 52(5), 208-222. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000228
Schwedhelm, C., Pischon, T., Rohrmann, S., Himmerich, H., Linseisen, J., & Nimptsch, K. (2017). Plasma Inflammation Markers of the Tumor Necrosis Factor Pathway but Not C-Reactive Protein Are Associated with Processed Meat and Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption in Bavarian Adults. Journal Of Nutrition, 147(1), 78-85. doi:10.3945/jn.116.237180
Woods, J. A., Wilund, K. R., Martin, S. A., & Kistler, B. M. (2012). Exercise, Inflammation and Aging. Aging & Disease, 3(1), 130-140.