There are a few places around the world where people regularly live to be 100 with basically no health issues. Dan Buettner is a researcher who’s studied these longevity hotspots, known as Blue Zones, which include Nicoya, Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, California, and he’s discovered some of the health and wellness practices that help their residents live so long. These are a few of their nighttime habits that promote longevity.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule – Want to extend your lifespan? Make a regular sleep schedule and stick to it. Set a bedtime reminder if you have to and come up with a “wind-down routine,” using things like yoga or meditation, to help you relax and fall asleep.
- Get a full night’s sleep – Ideally, this means eight to 10 hours, which is “the optimal amount to revitalize our brains and bodies,” according to the Blue Zones website.
- Allow time to “down shift” – That “wind-down routine?” It’s something these centenarians do daily to manage stress. These “down shifts,” as Buettner calls them, vary from Blue Zone to Blue Zone. Those in Japan take a moment to honor their ancestors and in Sardinia, they go to Happy Hour. But the idea is to do something relaxing to unwind and help them get a better night’s sleep.
- Avoid late-night snacking – You won’t find many Blue Zone residents eating midnight snacks, in fact, they don’t eat to excess any time of day, which helps them maintain their healthy weights. They typically eat a smaller dinner early in the evening and often eat their biggest meal of the day at lunch.
- Enjoy a glass of wine after 5pm – Buettner’s research finds four of the five official Blue Zone communities drink alcohol – especially wine – but only in moderation. “There’s plenty of evidence in Blue Zones that a couple glasses a day, especially with friends and with a meal … probably lowers mortality,” he explains.
Source: Well and Good