There are a LOT of factors that go into how long you’ll live.
Some are outta your control, like genetics.
Some are in your control, but require a ton of time and attention, like diet… nutrition… and exposure to toxins.
But new research reveals what could be one of the BIGGEST longevity factors of all.
It’s not only totally within your control… it’s also super-easy to manage, requiring little to no effort at all.
You might say you can do it your sleep – because that’s exactly what it is: sleep.
There’s just one little catch.
It’s not total sleep. It’s not the number of times you wake up. And it’s not a matter of Ben Franklin’s “early to bed, early to rise.”
It’s about one very specific TYPE of sleep. And I’m going to show you exactly how to get it… starting TONIGHT!
How the RIGHT sleep can lead to a LONGER life
You’ve heard of REM sleep, named for the “rapid eye movements” that mark this nightly phase of shuteye.
It’s best known as when you dream.
It’s also essential to brain development, which is why babies and kids get a LOT of this form of sleep. They’re in the REM phase for half the night… but as we get older, that number drops until it hits about 20-25 percent in our later years.
And if that’s where your own REM levels are, you’re in good shape: The new study finds that you have a higher chance of living longer.
But as those REM levels drop, the death risks climb.
Every 5 percent you lose increases your risk of a shorter life by up to 17 percent, according to the study in JAMA Neurology.
Without a couple of nights in the sleep lab, it’s almost impossible to know how much REM sleep you’re getting.
In general, less total sleep means less REM… and more sleep overall means more REM.
But there are two other very common factors that can sap you of your REM sleep even if you get a full night of shuteye:
Sleep apnea: It takes about 90 minutes to hit the REM phase. Because apnea disrupts sleep, it can stop you from reaching REM, or rouse you when you’re in it. If you’re overweight and tend to snore a lot… or if you don’t feel refreshed when you wake up… you could have this condition. A little weight loss is often the simplest and most effective solution.
Medication: Common drugs including some benzodiazepines and antidepressants can all mess with the signals in the brain and disrupt sleep, especially REM sleep.
Just about ALL of these meds have natural alternatives; work with a doctor skilled in integrative or functional medicine to help wean you off the drugs and onto better, safer solutions.
One more note: If you’re a short sleeper… getting 5-6 hours a night… you could use a little more shuteye. You’re not just getting too little REM sleep, but too little sleep overall, another risk factor for chronic disease and an early death.
Melatonin can help you get your rest and has been shown to increase REM sleep, too. Look for a dissolvable form, which melts in your mouth so that it takes effect quicker.