New research finds sleeping well helps you feel younger 

 A recent study found that sleeping may be the secret to unlocking the fountain of youth.

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A new study has found that the lack of motivation and energy caused by insufficient sleep can lead to people feeling older. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

If you’re looking to feel younger, ditch the Botox and energy drinks and grab a pillow. A recent study by Stockholm University in Sweden discovered a new correlation between sleeping and feeling youthful. 

“Sleep plays a causal role in how old individuals feel,” the study’s lead author and sleep researcher, Leonie Balter, told CNN. “Insufficient sleep induces feelings of sleepiness. Sleepiness is an important motivational state that makes us prioritize sleep and reduces our energy levels.” 

Analyzing people’s sleep patterns, the study found the lack of motivation and energy caused by insufficient sleep can lead to people feeling older. To reach this conclusion, the researchers conducted two experiments. 

For the first experiment, 429 participants between ages 18 and 70 recorded their sleep patterns via survey. Over the course of a month, they found participants reported feeling almost a quarter of a year older than their actual age after a poor night’s sleep. On the other hand, when people slept well, they reported feeling six years younger, on average. 

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“Alterations in mood and feelings of fatigue also contribute to the subjective sense of aging,” added Dr. Chang-Ho Yun, a neurology professor at Seoul National University in Seongnam, South Korea, per CNN. “These changes are typical manifestations of sleep deprivation and can exacerbate both sleepiness and the perception of older age.”

The second experiment analyzed 186 participants in a sleep lab where they were subjected to extreme sleep deprivation, limiting them to four hours of sleep for two nights. For two other nights, they experienced sleep saturation, allowing participants to sleep for nine hours. Similar to the first study, the sleep lab research showed that “after sleep restriction, participants felt on average 4.44 years older as compared to after sleep saturation, where they felt 0.24 years younger than their calendar age.” 

In addition to sleep patterns, individuals’ body clocks played a role in the study’s findings. According to the publication, people who typically woke up early felt over five years older than night owls and four years older than those who fell in between both extremes. However, when waking up early from nine hours of sleep, early birds reportedly felt younger. 

“Both studies, one cross-sectional and one experimental, demonstrate that sleep and sleepiness play a profound role in shaping our sense of age,” the article states. “These findings support that sleep, a vital biological phenomenon, might hold the key to feeling young.” 

“Overall, these findings underscore the importance of adequate sleep in maintaining a youthful subjective age, potentially benefiting both mental and physical health,” Yun added. “Remember, a good night’s sleep can help you live younger.”

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