The #1 cause of aging and what to do about it

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 26 January 2021

What do you think could age you faster? Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep?

If you picked sleep, you would be right.

Sleep is such an important building block for our health yet in today's modern world it is often considered an inconvenience. How often do hear people get praised for "burning the midnight oil" or consider it a badge of honour to pull an "all-nighter"?

In Tom Rath's book, Eat Move Sleep, he likens the number of hours of sleep deprivation to the number of beers you might drink. Many people wouldn't want their child's teacher to have a few beers before coming to class, but missing a few hours sleep is not even considered, it might even be expected.

If you truly want excellent health, making sleep a priority is essential.

Here are some quick tips to take advantage of sleep as a potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and cost effective (actually it's totally free!) tool for longevity:

  • Best bedtime is 10 pm. Try to get as close to this as possible, even if it's in small 10 -15 min increments
  • Best time to wake up is 6 - 8am.
  • Set an alarm to go to bed.
  • Expose your eyes to bright light as soon as you can
  • Have protein for breakfast.
  • Make mid-morning your last call for caffeine.
  • Shut off all screens 30 -60 minutes before bed.
  • Take melatonin if you are a shift-worker.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Make early evening your last call for alcohol. The closer to bed you drink, the more likely your will have disturbed sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
  • Have a bedtime routine.
  • Dim the lights as evening falls.
  • Try guided meditation to help you fall asleep.
  • Check your blood sugar if you are having trouble staying asleep.

What if these basic interventions fail and your sleep is still a problem? It's time to find an naturopathic doctor who can help you with your individual situation.

Now I would love to hear from you! What is one intervention you can start doing to help your sleep? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

8 Replies to “The #1 cause of aging and what to do about it”


Very interesting


We can never be reminded enough about this! Great information. Thank you Michelle.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

🙂 You’re welcome!


I set an alarm, have lemon and ginger in hot water before bed time. Bed at 9:30 and read for 30min.

Mavis Way

Thanks Michelle ! That is all good to know .. I constantly battle with getting enough sleep and staying asleep – so I should print this out to use as a guide ! 😊

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome Mavis!

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Great bedtime routine Lisa 🙂


I’m glad I stopped by to have a read.
Great article…. very clever list
thank you.

I will set my alarm to go to bed on time tonight 🙂

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