When it comes to getting older, most of us react in one of two ways: Fight it tooth and nail, surrendering a good deal of self-respect in the process, or simply give in. There has to be a better way — a path to stay spry, healthy, even fashionable — despite the birth date on your driver’s license. To find it, we cast a wide net, consulting with wellness experts, trainers, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, health coaches, stylists, and barbers. Not one suggested plastic surgery, a daily dose of HGH, hair plugs, or CrossFit. What they did recommend were ideas that, done regularly, will not only reboot your health, fitness, and style — but will also change the way you feel about your age. Not that you’ll look it.
“When you’re sleep-deprived, you have ashen skin and under-eye circles, and you look puffy because you retain fluid — plus, you just feel run-down,” says Michael Breus, sleep specialist and author of The Power of When. You also miss crucial hours when the body produces growth hormone and testosterone. Here’s how to set yourself up for better sleep.
1. Make mornings consistent
Wake up at the same time on weekends as weekdays — no matter when you got home the night before. “It is the absolute best way to improve sleep,” says Breus. “You can’t force circadian rhythms to change because you had a late night. It’s better to wake early and nap later if you need to.”
2. Enough with Facebook
People who check social media the most are twice as likely to have disturbed sleep as those who log on the least, according to recent research. Constant checking creates a vicious cycle: “When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” says research Gloria Mark. “If you’re distracted, what do you do? You go on Facebook.” Log on at specific times and leave it at that.
3. Cut caffeine after 2 p.m.
Caffeine can take up to 10 hours to clear your system. Nix it after midday.
4. Take a hot shower right before bed
Rapidly cooling off increases the natural drop in body temperature that happens at night. This cues the body to release sleep-inducing melatonin.
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