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Safeguard Your Sleep To Feel Younger

2 weeks, 5 days ago

784  0
Posted on Mar 28, 2024, 6 p.m.

Feeling sleepy can make you feel older than you are, and feeling you is not just a matter of perception, it is related to objective health outcomes. Studies have shown that feeling younger than your age is associated with living a longer and healthier life, there is even evidence that suggests that subjective age can predict actual brain age with those that feel younger having younger brains. 

If you frequently find yourself reminiscing about the energy and vitality that you had in your younger years and wish you could turn back the clock, safeguarding your sleep may help you to feel younger than you are according to a study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B from researchers at Stockholm University who found that feeling sleepy can make you feel ten years older. 

"Given that sleep is essential for brain function and overall well-being, we decided to test whether sleep holds any secrets to preserving a youthful sense of age," says Leonie Balter, researcher at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University.

In the first study, 429 participants between the ages of 16 to 80 years old were asked how old they felt, how many days during the past month they did not get enough sleep, and how sleepy they felt. According to the researchers, for each night without sufficient sleep in the past month, the participants felt on average 0.23 years older than they were. 

The second study investigated whether it was lack of sleep causing the participants to feel older by conducting a sleep restriction study involving 186 participants between the ages of 18 to 46 years old who restricted their sleep to four hours a night for 2 nights as well as two nights of nine hours. According to the researchers, after sleep restriction, the participants felt on average 4.4 years older compared to when they had adequate sleep, showing that the effects of sleep on subjective age were related to how sleepy they felt. On the other hand, feeling well-rested and extremely alert was related to feeling 4 years younger than their actual age, while extreme sleepiness was related to feeling 6 years older than their actual age. 

"This means that going from feeling alert to sleepy added a striking 10 years to how old one felt," says Leonie Balter, and states that the implications for our daily lives are clear:

"Safeguarding our sleep is crucial for maintaining a youthful feeling. This, in turn, may promote a more active lifestyle and encourage behaviours that promote health, as both feeling young and alert are important for our motivation to be active."

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

https://www.su.se/department-of-psychology/news/want-to-feel-young-protect-your-sleep-1.725447

https://www.su.se/english/

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2024.0171

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