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Beauty Sleep

June 8, 2010

What transforms me from a snarling, crabby stressed out woman into a gentle, love-filled soul that had birds and butterflies landing on her shoulders?

What calms my skin, reduces facial breakouts and plumps up the circles under my eyes?

What allows me to have consistent energy and moderated moods all day long?

What enables me not to crave extra helpings of carbs in the late afternoon?

What makes me put on my workout clothes first thing in the morning and jet off to the Y for a great core session and some cardio?

What helps me relax more, interestingly, have strange but invigorating dreams and better creative work time?

The answer?

7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

This article goes over the basics of why getting sleep really does help you be more beautiful, literally and figuratively.

But this article interests me more, as someone who has struggled with insomnia recently, as well as someone fighting to keep from developing full-blown diabetes.

It’s a strange mix, really.  When you are motivated to get fit, you beat away any notions of laziness, any hint of excuses lingering around your mind’s backdoor.  You tell yourself to buck up, just do it, or, if you are my husband, “get the sand out of your vagina.” You are in dramatic, extreme push-yourself mode, trying to change your habits, trying to differentiate between pain and discomfort, learning to listen to your body as it wakes up from sedentary torpor.

So to be told to sleep?  To stop?  To rest and relax?  This is a hard message for me.  It feels like backing down.  It feels like retreat.  But when I get the sleep I need, I can feel the difference, and I can see the change in my behavior.

I am writing this for myself as much as anyone.  This week has been busier than normal and I have not been going to bed on time. Hence:  dragging my corpse to the gym, snarling at my family, carb cravings, bad skin.  Next week, I will do better…by letting go and doing less.

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