June 11th, 2012

Enhance Your Mood – Get Your Beauty Sleep

by Jacqueline Whitmore

My husband and my dog getting their "beauty" sleep.

My mother always told me that we need less sleep as we get older. I hope this isn’t true because I love to sleep. On average, I get about nine hours of sleep every night and, frankly, I don’t function well on less. It’s important to feel good every day and when I get enough sleep, I’m always in a good mood. On the other hand, when I’m cranky, I know that I’m either hungry or sleepy, or both.

Have you noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re generally more impatient, less productive, moody, and less focused? And if that weren’t enough, sleep deprivation impairs memory, weakens the immune system, slows metabolism, and, as some recent studies suggest, makes you appear less healthy and less attractive. (In my opinion, this is reason enough to go to bed earlier.) Sleep is the body’s natural beauty treatment and it’s less expensive than any other treatment or medical procedure you can buy.

Sleep experts predict that we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. That means that when I’m 75 years old, I will have slept approximately 25 of those years! When I learned about the importance of sleep, I figured it was time to buy a new mattress set. After all, my mattress was ten years old and needed to be replaced. Like any well-educated consumer, I started “researching” mattresses. Whenever I stayed in luxury hotels, I would pull back the bed sheets, peek at the mattress, and make a note of the brand.

When I decided what I wanted, I went to City Mattress and purchased the best mattress I could afford – a firm, pillow top, Simmons Beautyrest mattress set. This is the brand of mattress I slept on when I stayed at the Peabody Orlando. I know, because I saw the label when I lifted the bottom sheet off the bed.

Next, I went online and purchased a set of high thread-count Charisma bed linens, a goose-down duvet, and feather pillows. It’s no wonder that my husband, my dog, and I sleep like babies every night!

If you want to get more sleep but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pricey mattress or fancy bed linens, establish a bedtime ritual. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night and give yourself a brief transitional period. I try to wind down approximately 30 minutes before I go to bed.

To block distracting noises, invest in a soothing, sound-generator machine (yes, I have one, and I use it every night). Don’t watch the evening news or work on your computer and then expect to conk out right away.

Keep the room cool and turn off any bright lights. Take a bubble bath or hot shower, light a candle, read, or sit quietly before you turn the lights off. Avoid alcohol for several hours before putting your head on that pillow; it may make you want to sleep, but you might wake up in short order and have trouble nodding back off. It’s also not a good idea to eat a big meal just before bedtime.

A good night’s sleep provides a better sense of overall well-being and gives you more enthusiasm for almost everything you do. Going to bed a little earlier might even lead to more nighttime action of the intimate variety, too. That sounds like an aphrodisiac to me!

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3 Responses to “Enhance Your Mood – Get Your Beauty Sleep”

  1. Cathy on June 13th, 2012 3:59 pm

    All week I stay up way to late and then when Friday comes around and I want to stay up and get things done, I’m passing out before 10pm. Funny how that is. I hate to sleep my time away and generally as long as I get 6hours per night I’m good.

    I certainly believe you can’t be at your best with family or business if you aren’t well rested.

  2. Jennifer on July 12th, 2012 12:36 am

    I am so glad to read you need nine hours of sleep a night. I need eight and feel badly when I compare myself to those who are able to operate on six or less. I also got a chuckle when I read about checking the mattress. The pillow at the Hilton are so comfortable, I checked the tag and ordered online. You are a woman after my own heart!

  3. Jacqueline on July 13th, 2012 1:20 am

    Thanks, Susan. Sweet dreams!

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