Bioactive sphingolipids: sphingosine, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), ceramide, and ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) are increasingly implicated in cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and in multiple aspects of stress response in the nervous system. The opposite roles of closely related sphingolipid species in cell survival/death signaling is reflected in the concept of tightly controlled sphingolipid rheostat. Aging has a complex influence on sphingolipid metabolism, disturbing signaling pathways and the properties of lipid membranes. A metabolic signature of stress resistance-associated sphingolipids correlates with longevity in humans. Moreover, accumulating evidence suggests extensive links between sphingolipid signaling and the insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I)-Akt-mTOR pathway (IIS), which is involved in the modulation of aging process and longevity. IIS integrates a wide array of metabolic signals, cross-talks with p53, nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), or reactive oxygen species (ROS) and influences gene expression to shape the cellular metabolic profile and stress resistance. The multiple connections between sphingolipids and IIS signaling suggest possible engagement of these compounds in the aging process itself, which creates a vulnerable background for the majority of neurodegenerative disorders.