3 natural health solutions that will help fight prematurely aging skin.

Alcohol, cigarette smoking, sun exposure, stress…We know that all of these things can prematurely age your skin. But here’s a new one to add to the list: Sleep deprivation.

Numerous studies have shown that sleep deprivation inhibits collagen (a primary skin component that keeps skin firm and maintains its elasticity) production and can lead to inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also exacerbate existing allergic and contact dermatitis.

So how exactly does sleep deprivation harm your skin? Scientists believe it has to do with decreased collagen production. Collagen production is highly dependent on the immune-balancing process initiated by a healthy night’s sleep. Without sufficient sleep, collagen production drops. Because collagen is so essential to the health of skin, a decrease in its production can lead to increased risk of skin infection, increased UV ray damage and premature wrinkling and sagging.

If you suffer from chronic insomnia, consult your doctor to make sure you don’t have an underlying medical condition. Otherwise, here are some natural remedies you might try.

Take a warm bath before bed. Your body naturally cools down when you sleep, so going to bed warm will help you fall into a natural sleep as it cools down.

Don’t drink alcohol before bed. While alcohol might make you fall asleep faster, it’s liable to make you wake up prematurely and make it difficult to fall asleep again.

Drink a cup of warm milk. Milk is high in calcium which experts say is good for sleep. It's also rich in something called tryptophan - a natural hormone in the body that can make you sleepy.