November 20, 2014
Most people would like to look and feel younger, but are unsure exactly where to begin. While the majority of people understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle complete with balanced nutrition and regular exercise can help maintain your physical vitality, many often ignore the vital role of sleep in revitalizing the body. The most recent scientific research suggests that adequate, healthy sleep can not only reduce the effect of general aging on the body, but can also improve the results of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures by strengthening the body’s natural recuperative processes.
Although it may seem as though sleep is a time when the mind and body are shut down, this is not the case. Sleep is actually an extremely important part of the body’s natural cycle, during which a great deal of restoration and strengthening occurs. The deepest stage of sleep is the only time that the body releases the growth hormones essential for cell repair and regeneration. This is one of the reasons growing children require more sleep than adults. However, if a given period of sleep is too short, or if the sleep cycle is frequently interrupted, the body has less time to repair and replenish itself. Specifically, collagen and elastin, two protein fibers that give the skin its elasticity and help keep it hydrated, are replaced at a slower rate as the skin ages. Without these regenerative proteins, the skin’s texture, thickness, and elasticity diminish. While it is impossible to completely stop the aging process, adequate sleep gives the body more time to replenish these growth factors, and plays an important role in preventing premature skin aging.
Because sleep plays such an essential role in the body’s major restorative functions, like muscle growth, tissue repair, and protein synthesis, getting enough rest is vital to recovering from plastic surgery procedures. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, leaving you more prone to infection. Long-standing sleep deprivation has been associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and, higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, all of which can contribute to an increase in swelling and may put an unhealthy amount of strain on the heart. Lastly, many plastic surgery procedures, like tummy tuck or liposuction, are significantly less effective on patients who are overweight or obese. However, studies conducted at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Stanford University have shown that sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full and increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone, in their bodies. This is believed to be just one of the factors that accounts for the results of the Nurses’ Health Study, the largest and longest study to date on adult sleep habits, which found that women who slept five hours or less were 15 percent more likely to become obese when compared to women who slept seven hours a night.
If you have any questions about any of the cosmetic plastic surgery treatments that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care CreditSM, to assist you. Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.