One of my favourite activities as a young child was going to the cinema with my mom…and also at home, and when movies came on TV, I was in the living room with my mom, watching classic films like Psycho, Gone with the Wind and Sound of Music. Disney films were also a treat. My mom took me to the theatrical release of Sleeping Beauty when I was four and after seeing it, I was floored, mesmerized by the romance and I wanted to keep seeing it. It was so magical and amazing that a princess cheated death and aging by sleeping and was awoken again by true love! I wanted to ask my mom to take me again to see it, right after leaving the theater, but I was too shy to.
The story of Sleeping Beauty struck a cord in me, because I think that’s because sleep is connected to beauty. It’s when we rejuvenate and replenish ourselves with energy, strength, spirit. It’s when we regenerate our tissues, bones and hair. It’s how we reset our physical and mental programming to face the everyday world. And every minute of it is worth gold. For example, I myself went a little crazy a few weeks ago when I was not sleeping well, stressed and anxious with modern day life challenges. And it showed in my complexion: my skin was bumpy and flacid, puffy eyes, limp lifeless hair, and low energy to the nines.
A break down on why sleep is so important:
- Life is always stressful: Between family, work and social obligations personal ambitions, daily life is full of anxiety, worry and distress. Sleep not only helps us have energy for these things, but is a key factor in keeping mental health to face these things.
- It helps us regulate water/hormonal, emotional balance: I remember gaining water weight in the cheeks and hips when I was not sleeping well…and even my emotions were up and down…sleep is something that balances our body functions. Exercise also helps, but not as much a good rest, in my opinion.
- My complexion suffered. Wrinkles appeared out of no where, the smooth texture of my skin was gone…even make-up didn’t cover this up…
- My immune system was lowered and I was prone to infections and illnesses, allergies…etc
- I became very depressed and unable to think positively. I know that I have often battled sad days, we all have, but when I was lacking sleep, it felt that much harder, that much more severe.
So the bottom line? “Beauty sleep” does exist, because being well rested is a vital part of physical and mental health. What ways have you been neglecting a good sleep hygiene? Doctors say eight hours a night is ideal…so are you hacking it, or what can you do to make sure you get that? It’s worth the effort to get good sleep because then you get to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed to face the world!