Eating healthy food and getting regular exercise are great practices in taking care of one’s health. However, these are not enough to live a good life.
In a 2019 international survey published in the World Economic Forum, about 62% of adults don’t feel like they’re getting enough quality sleep. Their reasons include worry and stress, physical environment, hectic schedules, entertainment from technology, food disruptors, and existing health conditions. As these continue to pile up daily, it’s more important than ever to discuss what sleep deprivation does to our mind, body, and health.
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Promoting Healthy Aging with Aging Science
The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), which is a national institute, is the longest study on aging research. It has released several studies and journal articles on topics about aging science, drug development, cell biology, and molecular biology.
Apart from the BLSA, the other national institutes that produce research studies on aging science are the Buck Institute and the Albert Einstein College. They provide public access through their websites.
By doing multiple clinical trials using model organisms, these institutions are beginning to discover ways to target aging. They gather data and produce analysis from the clinical aspects of their studies by performing experiments on mice and flies.
More than just extending a person’s life, researchers from all around the world have been working on further understanding the biology of humans and the nature of aging. It’s not just about the human lifespan anymore but about the human health span, which refers to increasing a person’ squality of life by living more years disease free.
Aging has three types, chronological age, biological age, and functional age. Recent studies have also started uncovering what is called epigenetic changes while studying aging processes. These are genetic changes in DNA as a person ages. By studying genes and proteins, scientists found out that aging varies from person to person.
The Benefits of Sleep
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Prevents Age-Related Diseases
Human aging comes with a variety of different illnesses caused by the body’s weaker immune response. This is primarily because the cells of the body undergo cellular senescence, a critical state where cells are incapable of undergoing growth or cell division. Senescent cell accumulation is a hallmark of aging that drives various age-related diseases including Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
The number one cause of death among older adults in America is heart disease. While a variety of lifestyle habits can cause this illness, continuous lack of sleep among young people can have negative effects on their cardiovascular health. Getting adequate sleep can lessen this risk.
High Blood Pressure
This chronic disease causes the blood in the body to exert too much pressure on the arteries. This can lead to chest pains, headaches, and fatigue. Sleep regulates blood pressure by lowering it as you sleep and bringing it to normal levels when you’re awake.
Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
These illnesses cause cognitive decline among older adults. They target the cognitive function of the brain, causing memory loss, mood swings, and poor communication. Sleep lowers your chance of acquiring these diseases because it allows your mind to rest and strengthen your memory.
Diabetes compromises the body’s ability to process glucose or sugar.. Getting enough hours of sleep lessens the risk of diabetes since the body at rest regulates the release of insulin and normalizes the release of sugar in the bloodstream.
The circadian rhythm controls our bodily functions in a 24-hour period, including the release of hormones throughout the system. Since hormones send signals needed for organ and tissue function, proper sleeping habits keep your rhythm on track. Furthermore, by regulating hormones that affect stress and blood glucose levels, your body can maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Renews Tissues and Boosts Cells
Aside from cleaning out wastes within, restorative sleep benefits tired and stressed bodies by repairing damaged tissues, boosting the performance of various cells, and increasing stem cell production. This is the reason why getting enough sleep has been found to strengthen the immune system. It boosts the production of one of the main components to battle aging called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). This molecule can also normalize your sleeping rhythm and make you feel energized the following day.
These positive sides of sleep can contribute to your longevity. No matter how busy and hectic your day may be, keep in mind that sleep is an essential need in your lifestyle practices. You’ll pat yourself on the back in the long run.
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Be careful with double negatives. Here, you’re implying what good sleep does to the mind and body.
This makes it seem like sleep is the underlying answer to all disease treatments. Please remove this sentence or rewrite this section.