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Deep Sleep May Act as Fountain of Youth in Old Age

If you needed one more reason for getting a good night’s sleep, UC Berkeley researchers have found that improving sleep quality is an important component of staving off disease in later life, as well as extending lifespan. The undeniable facts are that sleep deterioration is linked to Alzheimer’s, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke, the researchers said.

If you follow me at all, you know that I believe a good night’s sleep is critical to your whole life plan. To that end, I offer numerous ways to ensure that you get the best sleep possible, beginning with preparing for sleep before you get into bed. For example, a warm shower or bath taken at least 90 minutes before bed may positively impact your sleep quality, reduce stress and help you feel well rested in the morning.

Other good sleep steps include making sure you get plenty of light exposure first thing in the morning, exercise during the day, exposure to the outside air and light throughout the day (try taking a walk outside after lunch) and cutting caffeine early in the afternoon. As it grows closer to bedtime, stop eating at least three hours before bed and take a few minutes to unwind before you put your head on the pillow. Turn off your electronics, adjust your bedroom temperature to about 65 degrees and sleep in complete darkness.

If you still can’t achieve those magic shut-eye hours, you may want to consider a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which helps people to change their thoughts and behaviors regarding sleep.
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