The common mistake that will make you age faster than anything else, according to a longevity doctor | The Sun

SLEEPING badly is the number one mistake that makes you age faster, a longevity expert says.

Dr Neil Paulvin, a regenerative medicine doctor from New York, claims regularly missing out on a good night’s kip could age you beyond your years.

Many people sleep less than the recommended amount because of the pressures of modern day life, work and socialising.

But this could be causing devastating effects on your body — including speeding up how quickly you’re ageing.

Writing for CNBC, Dr Paulvin said: “Based on my experience, I've found that poor sleep quality is the number one mistake that will make you age faster.

“With our fast-paced lives, sleep is often sacrificed whether by choice or necessity. Mounting evidence shows that quality sleep is the key to a healthy life.

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“When we sleep, the body heals itself. Sleeping seven to eight hours a night helps improve cellular and tissue health, cognitive function, immunity, energy levels and metabolism.”

The NHS recommends British adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night, although some people naturally sleep more than others.

Nearly one in five Brits aren’t getting enough sleep, according to Mental Health UK.

Teens, children and babies need more shuteye because they are still growing, with a newborn requiring anywhere from eight to 16 hours daily.

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Dr Paulvin said missing out on kip in adulthood can cause your skin to age quicker, resulting in wrinkles.

Collagen and elastin are two proteins that help keep skin firm and plump as we age.

However, research published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology shows missing out on sleep can lower the quality and strength of both proteins, leading to lines and sagging.

Not sleeping can also increase your risk of cognitive decline, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, he said.

The mistake can also damage your body’s immune system, weakening your ability to fight off disease and illness.

Six ways to sleep better

Dr Paulvin recommends six simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve the quality of your sleep:

  1. Be consistent: Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day helps maintain your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  2. Get morning sun: Natural sunlight in the AM helps tune the body's circadian rhythm — the cycle that makes us feel awake or tired
  3. Limit alcohol and caffeine: You should stop drinking caffeine eight hours before you sleep and booze should be cut off three hours before
  4. Cut screen time: Looking at your devices’ blue backlights before bed has been shown to hamper your sleep
  5. Stick to a routine: Relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath signals the body to wind down
  6. Invest in the bedroom: Having a good mattress, sheets and eye mask can all help you feel relaxed at night

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