Most of us don’t get enough sleep at night. However if you want to slow down the aging process, this is one of the most important things to try and do. Although aging will occur anyway, you will have a longer and healthier life if you get enough sleep. You will also look and feel better if you do!

Whatever else you do to slow down the aging process may be less effective if you don’t get enough sleep. We need sleep because it restores and heals. Your body uses energy and resources to repair your body when you sleep that would not normally be used to repair your body during normal waking hours.

Image: istockphoto

Image: istockphoto

Sleep Cycles & Stages
We go through four to six “sleep cycles” every night. Consisting of five stages ranging from very light sleep (stage 1) to very deep sleep (stage 4) and the rapid eye movement stage during which you are most likely to dream.

Figure out what time you should go to bed in order to get a good night’s rest. On average, sleep cycles take around 90 minutes. You can also figure out what time you have to go to sleep by counting backwards 7.5 hours. Of course, some people need six hours of sleep, while others need nine.

Complicating matters further, sleep cycles can range from 90 minutes to two hours. Requirement is based on lifestyle and need, each person is different.

Since the quality of your sleep is very important, consider the following:

Don’t eat any later than two hours before bed. It may give you indigestion due to the fact that your body is working on trying to digest the food. It also makes you gain weight because your metabolism slows down.

Add a little noise. If you’re like me and going to sleep in complete silence and darkness unnerves you, try music, soothing tapes, “white noise” or other sound distractions. I also find that meditating an hour before bed helps me relax.

Do some quiet activity instead of watching television before bed. (I’m not very good at following my own advice on this…lol).

Always remember that sleep is one of the best anti-aging tools out there – along with exercise and good nutrition.

Get enough sleep. I promise you’ll both look and feel better. Then you can really rise and shine!