How Sleep Deprivation Can Accelerate Aging

The skin on the face is one area that a lot of people take for granted in their teens and twenties. They look young and vibrant and their skin is producing loads of collagen. Then one day around the age of 35 or so, they look in the mirror and their face just doesn’t look the same. It looked good the other day, but all of a sudden it’s not looking so hot. Could it be the fact that so many of us sleep a lot less than we did before life became so crazy?

These days, life can take its toll on people. According to Cedars Sinai, “sleep deprivation” is when someone isn’t getting enough sleep. For the average adult, they need 7 to 8 hours each night. So, if you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night, you’re probably sleep deprived.

When people get less than 7 hours of sleep, as many people do, it can lead to an array of health problems, such as mood swings, depression, forgetfulness, and a reduced ability to fight off infections. By itself, sleep deprivation is not a disease per se, but it’s often the result of life circumstances, such as stress, a sleep disorder, or an illness.

Link Between Sleep Deprivation & Aging

Aging of course, has to do with genetics, but it also has to do with environmental and lifestyle factors. Sunbathing, smoking, substance abuse, alcoholism, and sleep deprivation can all accelerate the aging process. According to a UCLA study, a single night of sleep deprivation in older adults can make their cells age faster.

“Our data support the hypothesis that one night of not getting enough sleep in older adults activates important biological pathways that promote biological aging,” said lead author Judith Carroll, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral science at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology in Los Angeles, Calif.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you get less than that, it’s considered insufficient sleep. In the study, participants were allowed to sleep for only four hours between 3AM and 7AM. Understandably, this sleep restriction is the most common among adults.

For many of our patients, long work hours can prevent them from getting the sleep they need. Or, they simply stay up too late at night watching their favorite shows on Netflix, reading, or enjoying their friends’ company.

If you’re in the habit of staying up too late and rising early and it’s showing the next day in your skin, your lack of energy, and your diminished cognitive skills, we urge you to make getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night a top priority. We also recommend ordering a copy of Arianna Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

No matter what we do, we can’t escape the aging process entirely. We have a number of anti-aging procedures that pick up where sleep and quality skincare leave off. Contact us today to fully explore all of your options with our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Yuly Gorodisky.