Sleep is the great anti-aging elixir. Without enough of it, skin often becomes ruddy and uneven in tone. It’s prone to breakouts and fine lines. The wrinkles appear more pronounced. One of the reasons we lose sleep is stress. If you are chronically stressed and missing zzzzs, signs of premature aging are sure to come your way. Perhaps the most stressful job on the planet is that of “Most Powerful Man in the World,” so let’s look at what happens to our American presidents during their years of service:
One wonders if the Oval Office is thusly shaped because there should be few sharp corners where straightjackets are in order!
Along with water and sunscreen, these are the best anti-aging tools: sleep, relaxation, and exercise. But being that it’s election season, and many U.S. Presidents looked to these to help them get through their terms. Being that it’s the season of political ads and cold-calls, I’m not going to ask you to spend even one more minute thinking about politicians. Instead, if sleep and stress are challenges for you, here are five things you should start doing today:
- No TV or computer during the hour before you go to sleep. The light the screens emit can confuse your body’s biorhythms that dictate sleepiness and wakefulness.
- Keep a sleep log for a week and, if you find you’re experiencing chronic insomnia, talk to your doctor.
- Exercise but do it at a time of day when it helps rather than hurts your ability to sleep (different strokes for different folks).
- Make relaxation rituals part of your bedtime routine—mediation, yoga, prayer, a warm bath with aromatherapy, massage. Any of these can help.
- Keep a pad of paper and a pen next to your bed. Instead of stewing in the dark over a mental laundry-list of things to do, grab that pen and write down the thoughts. That way, you get them out of your head and can deal with them in the morning.