There’s an old saying that you’re only as old as you think you are.
But according to a fascinating, new study, it might also be accurate to say: You’re only as old as how well you sleep.
Let me explain…
Poor sleepers just “feel older”
In a new study, researchers with the University of Exeter in the U.K. looked at the connection between sleep and self-perceptions about aging in almost 5,000 men and women, ages 50 years and older.
First, they asked the participants whether they had experienced a number of age-related changes, including:
- Reduced energy
- Poor memory
- Decreased motivation
- Increased need to limit activities
- Increased dependency on others for help with daily activities
Then, a year later, they asked the participants to report on their sleep quality.
Overall, they found a strong link between poor perceptions about aging and poor sleep. And they noted that people commonly made comments like:
- How I feel fluctuates widely depending on my sleep.
- I feel great if I get six hours, so about half the time I feel younger and half the time I feel older.
- I have chronic pain problems and get very little sleep, which impacts on my life quite a lot.
If this sounds familiar, it’s probably time to be proactive about the quality of your sleep.
Because not only does poor sleep make you “feel older,” as this study shows, research links it to a number of chronic health problems…including a shorter lifespan.
Here are some suggestions for how to improve your sleep, without resorting to prescription drugs…
Natural sleep remedies can help you wind down
Science shows many people experience significant improvements in sleep and relaxation by inhaling essential plant oils through aromatherapy. You can apply these essential oils to your skin using a carrier oil and/or diffuse them into the air you breathe.
Both methods work well to induce sleep and relaxation because they both rely on the olfactory nerves of the upper nasal passage, which are wired directly into the brain. The most effective sleep-inducing essential oils are:
Our daughter used a topical preparation that combined these essential oils (blended with vitamin E and coconut oil as carrier oils) to help her achieve restful sleep throughout her pregnancy and even after the birth of our healthy granddaughter in October 2020. So, I know firsthand how effective and safe it is, just as the science shows.
And don’t forget, as I mentioned yesterday, spending time outdoors in the sun can also help improve your quality of sleep.
You can learn more the effects of poor sleep—and “my ultimate sleep solution”—in the March 2021 of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures (“My ultimate guide to getting a good night’s sleep—naturally”). Click here to become a subscriber!