A consistent routine of high-quality sleep reduces visible signs of aging and helps to lessen age-related pain and stiffness. Sleeping well helps to slow aging of cells and helps to keep body’s systems functioning optimally, providing us with more energy and delivering protection against age-related diseases.
That’s the good—actually, great—news about sleep as an anti-aging agent. But when it comes to aging there are consequences for not getting the regular rest we need. Poor sleep speeds up the aging process, accelerating the outward signs of aging, advancing biological age at the cellular level, and weakening natural immunity. Chronic poor sleep makes us look older, feel older, and makes us more vulnerable to illness and disease.
Our bodies rely on human growth hormone, also known as HGH, as an essential component of cellular repair, for the restoration and rejuvenation of tissues and muscles throughout the body from daily stress, wear and tear. Our own natural HGH production contributes to healthy skin and to the maintenance of a youthful appearance. I call HGH nature’s Botox! This hormone helps to regulate metabolism, supports strong immune functioning, and offers protection against age-related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
HGH declines naturally as we age. It’s produced in greatest amounts during childhood, when it helps fuel growth and development. By adolescence, HGH production is on the decline, and it continues to drop sharply into middle age, after which it continues to decline at a slower rate.
Sleeping well helps us maximize our natural HGH production throughout our lifetimes. Most of the body’s HGH production takes place during sleep, in particular during stages of deep, slow-wave sleep. When sleep is restless and fragmented, or when we simply don’t get enough sleep, our bodies are shortchanged on HGH production.