If you’re shelling out hundreds of dollars on cosmeceuticals to turn back the clock, now you may be able to pocket at least some of that money.  Like a lot of people out there, you may be sabotaging your anti-aging efforts without even knowing it.

But by making a few simple changes in your life style, you can save yourself from wrinkles and the effects of aging…and save a little money, too.

Here are 3 lifestyle changes that can take years off your face while adding years to your life.

Accept the fact that there are so many hours in the day and at least 7 of them belong to sleep.

When you’re super busy with everything from working to taking care of your family, it’s tempting to try to cram a day’s worth of household chores in the few hours before it’s time to turn in.  What happens is you’re bedtime is pushed back into TV Infomercial territory.

Besides waking up feeling like you’ve run a marathon, too little sleep causes a slew of health problems.  Research shows sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and just feeling and looking older.

So how much sleep do you need? It’s true some people need more or less sleep than others.  One way to find out how much your body needs is to get into bed well rested, and then turn off your alarm clock.  This way you can see how many hours of sleep your body naturally needs.

Learn how to de-stress.

Stress is a part of life, but how you manage it goes a long way in determining your quality of life.  Whether your stress comes from a demanding boss, your kid’s soccer schedule, or trying to make ends meet in a broken economy, the end results is the same – you’re obviously not functioning at peak efficiency.

And there are a few hidden problems as well.

When you’re stressed out, the hormones norepenephrine and cortisol are increased. Why is that noteworthy? Because when that happens your blood pressure is elevated and your immune system is depressed.  And left untreated, stress can affect the way your body heals itself, harden your arteries, and even contribute to “senior moments” as the areas of your brain involved with memory, learning, and moods begin to shrink.

Nurture your friendships.

While you’re probably aware that friends are essential for strong emotional health, you may be surprised to learn they contribute to your physical health as well.  One study linked satisfying friendships to longevity, and having a close circle of friends can even protect you from obesity, heart disease, and depression.  Even if you’ve lost touch with your friends over the years, with social media such as Facebook, there’s really no excuse for not reaching out and staying in touch. No matter what age you are right now, your friends can keep you young.

Food for thought the next time you’re standing in line at the cosmetic counter.

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