Sleep Centers Ponchatoula LA
By Kathy Summers
As we rush to meet life’s demands, we often miss out on badly needed beauty sleep. When our heads finally hit the pillow, our minds whirl out of control, or our spouses snore, or our kids call out for comfort in the night. Instead of drifting off to dreamland, we toss and turn and then wake up the next morning looking bedraggled, with a sallow complexion, sagging posture, and puffy, dark rimmed eyes.
“Everyone has had the experience of not getting enough sleep and looking terrible the next day,” says Michael Twery, PhD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Our mothers told us to get a good night’s sleep to avoid catching a cold, and while that certainly seems to be the case, Twery says, our looks may suffer as well. “Resistance to infection seems to decline when we don’t get adequate sleep, and that doesn’t help our appearance.”
But is there any real science behind the myth of beauty sleep? More and more experts say yes. Scientific studies haven’t looked at how sleep affects appearance directly—for example, the way the lack of it impacts skin renewal—but we do know that our bodies repair cells and tissues while we sleep. Research also supports the notion that poor sleep patterns lead to poor health—and poor health can make us look a little less beautiful.
“You need sleep to look good because of the way it affects muscle growth, body weight, your risk for heart disease, your ability to age well, and so many other things,” says Sara Mednick, PhD, a research scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life (Workman, 2006). Even a quick catnap reduces the effects of stress by lowering the hormone cortisol, and stress plays a major role in aging.
More importantly, in a study of more than 23,000 adults conducted at Harvard School of Public Health, those who took regular naps had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack than people who didn’t nap, and taking occasional naps lowered the risk by 12 percent.
When we fall short of our optimum eight hours, napping helps our bodies carry out the regenerative tasks that only occur during sleep to keep us healthy, alert, and, yes, looking our best.
Forty winks and weight loss
Sleep contributes as much to our well-being as eating right and exercising, but the average American adult sleeps less than seven hoursa night, compared to nine hours in 1910. Sleeping only five hours a night may change our appearance because of the link between obesity and insufficient sleep. Lack of sleep lowers leptin levels and raises ghrelin, two hormones that regulate appetite, according to a study at Stanford University. Skimping on sleep also increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, a lifestyle disease linked to weight gain.
“It sounds counterintuitive because you think you’re burning more calories by staying awake and active,” says Helene A...
Author: Kathy Summers
Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...