Skin: Take Control of Premature Aging

aging skin
Let’s get right to the nitty gritty. There are several very well documented causes of premature aging and good science beyond what we all can do to stop, or even reverse those effects. You’ll notice that a lot of these overlap. I’m not going into detail, but tobacco use and excess alcohol can both be major contributors to premature aging of the skin.  

Too Much Sun

A little sun is great and allows our bodies to produce much needed Vitamin D. Over time, too much sun exposure can lead to premature aging in several ways. The primary way is by damaging collagen (firmness) and elastin (elasticity). It does this by increasing an enzyme responsible for degrading collagen called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). If that’s not enough, it can increase inflammation, damage DNA, damage keratinocytes, and increase oxidative stress by decreasing antioxidant levels in the skin.

 

Too Much Sugar

Ok, so you already knew about the sun, but have you ever heard of glycation? Diets high in sugar can cause problems that...

Kids Bedtimes and Brainpower

This study from the University College London looked at the sleep habits of 11,000 kids between the ages of 3 to 7. It found that 3 year olds with irregular bedtimes tested lower on reading (3 year olds read?), math, and spatial awareness. By age 7, just the girls tested lower. Other research from Australia has shown that poor sleep is associated with lower math and literacy skills, as well as behavioral issues.


From ages 3 to 5, kids need about 11 to 12 hours of sleep… and 10 to 11 hours during elementary school. Sleep needs vary from kid to kid, but that’s the general rule.

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5 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

5 tips for a good nights sleepepSos.de

Sleep is a fundamental key to our health and our success.  It’s vastly underrated and undervalued, and I’m going to keep hammering that point.  Being tired is just the body’s way of saying... “yo, dumb dumb... go to bed already.  I have a lot of repairs so you can be ready for tomorrow.”

 

Habits are by far our best friends and worst enemies.  The fact that you are even reading this is proof that you care about your health.  Well, I’m here to tell you that habits, not will power will make all the difference.  Awareness and discipline when life is going smoothly, will create habits that see us through the crappy times.  This is true with everything, including sleep!

 
1.  Get Physical

Even if you’re working out 4 times a week, don’t completely skip your off days.  On those off days, you’ll reduce your stress and sleep much better by being active.  Sometimes it helps to...

The Boob Tube and the Sandman – Does TV Affect How Our Kids Sleep?

watching tvBrett Hammond

Ipod, Fire Kindle, big screen, computer screen, this screen, that screen... all things our kids love to do before bed.  Recent research from the University of Auckland in New Zealand setout to ask the question; Do the things our kids do 90 minutes before bed affect how fast they are able to fall asleep?

 

The researchers looked at over 2,000 kids ages 5-18 and lumped their pre-bedtime activities into 1 of 3 buckets: screen sedentary time, non-screen sedentary time, and self-care.  Then they threw the onset of sleep in 4 other buckets: very early, early, late, or very late.

 

The entire group averaged about 30 minutes of screen time in the 90 minutes before bed and TV was the most common activity.  One of mine has been known to watch Zack & Cody on the Kindle, while watching Psych on the TV!  They found that the kids that had the most screen time were the ones that took the longest to...

Sleep Fitness

The goal of this article is to challenge the way you think about your sleep.  We all know that we feel like crap if we don’t get enough, and we feel better after a good nights sleep.  Other than that, sleep is very mysterious.  Science has been looking at sleep from every angle and asking every question, including why we need to sleep at all.  The first big clue to the importance of sleep is found just by observing how fiercely our bodies demand it.  When we’re low on water, we get thirsty, and when we’re very low on water, we get very thirsty.  The same is true when we get hungry or when we get tired.  We can all condition ourselves to get by on less, but the big question is whether or not our bodies learn to function optimally on less too.  
Let sleeping dogs lie
photo by andrewr
Better understanding the benefits of sleep and how it works will help us determine how we think about our...

Get the Sleep You Need Tonight

Sleep is such a natural part of life that sometimes we may forget how important it is. That is, until we cannot fall asleep anymore. Everyone struggles with occasional sleepless, but what happens when you are left tossing and turning night after night? The answer is that every aspect of your life starts to suffer. You feel rundown, tired and have no stamina when it comes to everyday activities. Your mind suffers because your cognitive function is reduced and you have problems at work or school. When sleeplessness starts to interfere with you life there are steps that you can take to get you back into the natural rhythm of life. Stress is a major cause of insomnia, so many of the steps to resolve insomnia involve reducing stress the stress in your life. The effect is cyclical because better sleep can also help reduce stress even further. Your mattress is a great place to start when you are looking to improve your sleep. A comfortable mattress that cradles your body properly will go along way to reducing pain and giving you a great night's sleep. Sleep is...