The secret of longevity? Sleep soundly like the oldest woman in the world

You just wish long restful nights of sleep to feel more snappy? Let yourself go without hesitation to the sweet night’s rest because it might even extend your life. Yes, more and more studies prove it: to live longer and healthier you need to sleep well. The oldest woman in the world, Kane Tanaka, also bears witness to it: she has revealed her secret of hers which is made up of delicious peaceful sleep. Here’s what you need to know — and why we should change your sleep mindset current.

Kane Tanaka, who is the longest lived woman in the world

On 2 January 2022 she turned 119, becoming the oldest woman in the world – with inevitable confirmation of the Guinness World Record. And the Japanese Kane Tanakastill lucid and well aware of her little ones secrets to live long and in excellent health. A survivor of the 1918 Spanish flu, 2004 SARS and Covid-as well as two World Wars, the Nagasaki atomic bomb and colon cancer, she resides in a nursing home in Higashi-ku and spends time between walks and board games. What’s her trick? As she herself told the press, she loves to eat well: her menu is full of fish, soups, rice, lots of vegetables, some coffee, the right sweets and a good amount of water. What makes the difference, according to her, however, is sleep: she has always slept peacefully which helps her to live long.

Her belief that sleep is her ally is very firm: her son spoke about it in the book dedicated to her, published in 2020 and called In Good and Bad Times, 107 Years Old. Not a fixation of the very nice Kane, but real scientific evidence that studies only confirm.

Sleeping less than 8 hours a day is bad for your health, very bad: here’s what experts say about contemporary sleep culture

Unsplash @Maeghan Smulders

Sleep well to live long

The more you sleep, the longer you live: this is the motto of Professor Matthew Walker, director of Center for Human Sleep at the University of California, Berkeley and now the author of several books that put the spotlight on the new “sleep deprivation epidemic”. Well yes, according to the expert it is today’s life that pushes us to sleep less and less, with dangerous effects on health. Between the trend of the great CEOs who say they sleep only 4 hours a night to be more productive and the continuous accumulation of commitments between personal and work matters, we are increasingly giving up precious hours of sleep. The less we sleep, however, the less we live, according to Walker (and not only: scientists who agree are always, more and more). In fact, they are increasing diseases linked by science to sleep deprivation: from diabetes to mental disorders, passing through Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and obesity.

There is still little information about it, society wants us to be more active than ever, but the reality is different: every aspect of our biological life is conditioned by the night’s rest, its length and its quality. How to run for cover? With a strict sleep “diet”: go back to sleep 8 hours a night, at least. According to the Berkeley professor, but also to the World Health Organization, we shouldn’t never go below seven hours of sleep per night: those who sleep less can run into those very dangerous health problems. It doesn’t matter how many challenges everyday life puts us through, between overtime at work, sports, children to pick up and carry around, courses to learn, errands to run and so on. We should never compromise with the amount of hours we sleep. Never.

the secret of longevity sleep peacefully as the world's oldest woman turns 119

How to sleep at least 8 hours a night? The tips are many, all essential to live long. Here’s what the experts think

Unsplash @Yohann Libot

How to sleep more to live longer

Willpower alone is not enough, it is needed a few more tricks for help us rest better. First of all we should decrease (by a lot) the consumption of alcohol and caffeineto, bitter enemies of sleep. We should also avoid letting work eat us alive, however difficult: enough of the evenings in front of the computer. Better to go to sleep earlier, wake up early refreshed and rested and catch up on the backlog of work. Never give up hours of sleep for stay in front of phone and pc, also for pleasure: screens are known to be exciting and no, scrolling between social networks does not help you sleep at all. We should then try to avoid physical activity late at night because it inevitably raises cortisol levels which keep us awake longer. A bath is preferable to a shower because it is more relaxing, perhaps accompanied by meditation practices, reading a book (yes, a paper book, not an ebook for the reasons already explained), yoga that prepares you for sleep or a relaxing skincare.

In the end, it is very important to change mentality: it’s very (too) fashionable to brag about sleeping less and less to do more and more. Often we are ashamed to say that we need to sleep because insomnia sounds very cool, typical of the successful. Enough, really enough embarrassment: we shouldn’t care about looking lazy if our life is at stake. It is essential to stop giving importance to what others think, giving priority to our health, therefore sleeping at least 8 hours. We shouldn’t care how little Elon Musk sleeps (if what he says is true, ça va sans dire) and how much the web hates him for it. Point.

The secret of longevity? Sleep soundly like the oldest woman in the world