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Skip the plastic surgery and get some sleep, doctors say

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 24th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Those in search of younger-looking skin should skip all the purported crèmes, fountains of youth and plastic surgeon's scalpel and just get a good night's sleep, a new study has found.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Poor sleepers were found "to show increased signs of skin aging and slower recovery from a variety of environmental stressors," according to a small study at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio found. 

The study was presented at the International Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was commissioned by cosmetics giant Estée Lauder.


"While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown," head researcher Dr. Elma Baron said.


The study involved 60 women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of participants falling into the poor quality sleep category. Classification was based upon the basis of average duration of sleep and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a standard questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality.


Those who had a hard time nodding off showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and slackening of skin and reduced elasticity. Researchers found that good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors to the skin, such as sunburns.


Self perception of attractiveness was also significantly better among subjects who slept well compared to those who didn't.


WebMD and the Mayo Clinic offer the following tips to boost your quality sleeping time: 

-- Stick to a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends. 


-- Eat well. Avoid caffeine in the evenings or overeating before bedtime.


-- Try sleep accessories, such as a white noise machine or ear plugs, to block out distractions.


-- Exercise during the day, which can aid sleep, and try to clear your mind from too much clutter before bedtime by writing in a journal beforehand, for example. 


-- Though you may think chronic sleep deprivation is just stress-related, it could also be caused by an underlying medical problem like sleep apnea, so it's a good idea to talk to your doctor.

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