WASHINGTON — As it turns out, what your parents teasingly told you might have scientific proof behind it.
In the January edition of the journal SLEEP, several studies on telomeres show that sleep might be the key to a youthful complexion.
In a post on Everyday Health, Dr. Robert Rosenberg explains that telomeres are DNA-protein structures that act as a cap at the end of a chromosome.
Telomeres shorten with age, and more evidence suggests that they might also be a marker of biological age.
They are believed to protect the chromosome from inflammation and stressors, and some studies show that shortening telomeres could lead to diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Dr. Rosenberg writes that one study in particular illustrates that poor quality sleep and short duration sleep bring on shorter telomere length in adults.
The study also shows that older adults with good sleeping patterns had telomere lengths similar to middle-aged adults.
Therefore, the authors of the study conclude that quality of sleep directly links to cellular aging.
There you have it. Another study supporting the benefits of sleep, and that not enough of it accelerates the aging process.
Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.
It’s time for these animals’ annual checkup.