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Does an Extra 50 Minutes Sleep Slow Down Ageing?

sleep and ageing imageUpon approaching our supposed ‘golden years’, many of us reach for the potions and lotions promising to reduce our wrinkles and restore our youthful glow. Indeed, such products are so popular with us over-50s, statistics reveal that they account for 42% of total sales within the health and beauty market — more than any other product segment.


The question is: do anti-ageing products really offer the skincare benefits they claim? Or is it simply a well-packaged ruse to get us parting with our cash? Despite the BBC’s best efforts to come up with a concrete answer, there are still doubts about the effectiveness of anti-ageing beauty products. But don’t worry, because there’s another solution to help fight the signs of ageing, and that’s sleep.

Lack of sleep can accelerate the signs of ageing

That’s right, a study conducted in 2013 revealed that lack of sleep can accelerate the signs of ageing, contributing to the onset of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes. Since the study, celeb names such as Katherine Zeta Jones and Renée Zellweger have endorsed sleep as an effective anti-ageing tool, prompting others to ditch the ‘Hope in a Jar’ and follow suit.


But just how exactly does extra sleep help to curb the signs of ageing? During periods of rest, our bodies rejuvenate inside and out, and that includes our skin. Most skin cell regeneration occurs at night when we’re asleep, helping to repair abrasion and dryness, and prevent the onset of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness beneath the eyes. This is all thanks to the growth hormone, which activates when we’re asleep.


According to a recent article published by the Daily Mail, there are set times at night when the body clock focuses on the regeneration of our hair and skin. These processes normally occur between the hours of 11pm and 3am, when the body is in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of the sleep cycle.

How can we get the recommended 7-8 hours sleep per night?

Given the apparent anti-ageing benefits of a good night’s sleep, we should all strive to get more shut-eye each night. But, as many of you know, this is easier said than done, with no end of distractions threatening to disrupt and prevent us from getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night.


From noisy neighbours to nuisance light from streetlamps, a good night’s sleep can be difficult to come by, particularly for light sleepers. Research shows that lack of sleep can have far reaching health implications beyond giving you baggy eyes — making it absolutely vital to try and get the recommended amount of sleep, particularly in later life.


One of the simplest ways to safeguard your sleep is to block out nuisance light, as sleep experts, SoEasy Blinds, explain: “Daylight or other nuisance light halts the production of melatonin within the brain, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. We’d recommend installing a high-quality black-out blind in your bedroom to limit the amount of light in the room. Couple this with a heavy curtain, and you’re guaranteed a great night’s sleep — provided the kids don’t wake you up!”


So, sleep could well be the anti-ageing formula we’ve all been looking for. But given the amount of sleep we get reduces as we get older, snoozing away wrinkles could be harder than it sounds. For more tips and advice on how to combat the signs of ageing, don’t forget to check out the rest of our anti-ageing page.

















Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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