January 8, 2007

Beauty Sleep

Few elements are as important as restful sleep for beauty and general well being. Everyone loves to burn the candle at both ends these days, or even is required to, because of time demands and even just not wanting to miss anything; but sleep is one of the most vital organically derived processes you can engage in to enhance and or preserve your own beauty and health. The sleeping state of unconsciousness is a mental rest that also is a place to dream and develop your inner life and creatively resolve or reach for practical and emotional solutions to the problems that arise on an ongoing basis. Sleep gives you a more direct connection to the wisdom of your own unconscious mind. Sleep heals in many ways, and the skin will show the lack of rest, especially around the eyes if you don't get enough. Meaning 7-8 hours. Before 25 or so there is enough growth going on that the damage caused by lack of rest is minimal and self repaired without much notice being taken; but as time goes on sleep becomes the main way to restore balance and calm and rest to all the bodily systems, including the skin. I think as we get older, especially approaching and during menopause, because of fluctuating hormones and internal chemistry changes, a large number of women lose the ability to sleep uninterruptedly, and this will eventually add to the stress and other difficult physical symptoms of the changing body. I feel that in that case it is a good thing to use aids such as herbs or melatonin or even such medications as Lunesta to provide the optimal amount of rest for the body. Having true deep rest makes such a pervasive difference in mental and emotional and physical well being that I believe it is a focus for those who really strive to keep their beauty as long as possible. I have read that certain famously beautiful older film stars such as Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve spend extra time sleeping, in order to preserve their skin quality and energy. Obviously, the balance and converse to all this is exercise, which will retain the strength of the muscles and therefore combat certain skin problems such as cellulite and loss of tone. But for now, I wanted to remind you of sleep and how important it is, and not to put it last in importance, behind everything else you have to do, and therefore end up without enough of it...
Above, Night and Sleep, by Evelyn de Morgan.

6 comments:

Zz said...

Perhaps it will catch up with me, eventually, but I have never (for as long as I can remember) slept throughout the night. I am a very lite sleeper.
Something as subtle as a cat coming up the stairs will wake me.
I had a very uneasy childhood. So, I suspect that nature found a way to look after me, and never stopped....
Some people say that I do not look my age. and I do take care of my skin, exercise, and practice deep yogic breathing. But sleep, not in this lifetime.
Z.........

chaya ruchama said...

I've been remiss in responding, but have been enjoying your output, nonetheless.

Ah, sleep...
Where do we begin?
A lovely image [as usual!], BTW.

I understand the Z-ster's dilemma.

Hypervigilance is the Divine's way of trying to keep us safe.
Although it no longer informs my sleep, I can never escape its effects during my waking hours...

Often, as we age, sleep becomes a fleeting, but welcome guest [Thank you, Dido!].
Hormonal shifts contrive to rob us of its sweet, restorative company.

Catnaps help a bit !

May your sleep be blessed.
Love to you, dear L.
[Waves to Z, the lovely Aquarian]

Anya said...

A timely post, Lucy, as I have had some sleep problems for a few months now, on and off. Much is caused by my fibro, some by techie stress when web-building. Before this I typically got a good sleep, but even my usual meditations didn't help.

Beauty sleep wasn't my goal, healthful sleep was, and I was also concerned because restless sleep can indicate deeper health issues. Hopefully, that's not my case.

Last week I got some great herbal anti-inflammatories, some 5-HTP to help with seratonin pathway, and a bit of melatonin for the first time in my life. Doing very well now, and intend to keep the sleepy time on track.

I always have vivid, adventure dreams, wake up, turn over, go back to sleep. Back to that now and enjoying it so.

I also enjoy the occasional spritz of lavender of Rochas Mystere to help me sleep. I also like a mid-day nap. I don't think I'll ever turn to prescription stuff to get sleep, and I'm very happy that the stuff I used helped.

Lucy said...

Thanks for all the insightful comments, dear creatures.
I have that interrupted sleep thing happening for weeks on end over the past three years or so, due mostly to hormonal issues I am sure, so I have become radicalized in what I will do for a good nights rest, barring knocking myself out cold by drinking a whole bottle of vodka or something...
and what I find once you've had a good few weeks worth of solid sleeping every night is much more energy and the skin looking much revived. My sleep decificit is so deep by now, though, that I feel like I wish I could do one of those sci-fi space travel stints where they put people into suspended animation for a few months while they travel to another galaxy. I remember thinking when I was a kid seeing that in the old space operas, that it was a strange and somewhat frightening idea but now it seems pretty nice; sleeping like a bear in hibernation for a season would fix me up immeasurably...

chaya ruchama said...

Not an unlovely thought,L...
We could enjoy the intensely musky, comforting embrace of someone excessively furry and somnolent. Surely that would be soporific !

Nighttime is particularly tough for those of us with pain [of any sort].
I'm so glad, Anya, that your nights are improving...

L, I hope your situation is temporary, 'cause it sounds awful.
It's very hard to catch up on lost sleep.
While it makes an interesting science experiment, that's about it...
As bizarre as it may seem, one of my [many] mantras, these days, is the realization that so many other women have similar experiences- it kind of helps me to let go, grin, and feel a link across space and time.

A sisterhood of sleeplessness, tsurris, etc.

Love to you all...

Lucy said...

Hi Chaya, tsuris is right. I know what you mean, though. If you can imagine everybody else who is up at 3 am, no doubt most every woman over 50, there's some solidarity. Too bad it is still considered socially unacceptable to contact people at that time, probably if everyone knew who was up, and chatted or wrote online to each other for half an hour, we'd all go back to sleep easily. Roz Chast had a good cartoon in the New Yorker once captioned "the 3am of the soul", it was the giant figure and voice of a diapproving aunty type floating above listing all the ways gone wrong, including what shouldn't have been eaten that day; it was brilliant...