Monday, May 10, 2010
I'll be the first to confess that I'm not the best at putting myself to bed when I should. I'll put my daughter A to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. and come back out to a buffet of activities. I'll take my pick at the chores: washing the dishes, picking up what toys we didn't manage to put away, and the bathroom tidy-up. Then there's everything else: the phone calls and conversations to return and finish, the never-ending queue of things to do on the laptop, bills, etc. Familiar territory to you all.
I've been trying to get better at listening to my body's cues for the need to call it a day. I realize that I get so locked into the habit of monitoring the signs of my little girl A's tiredness, that my own ability to self-regulate and -monitor in terms of sleep suffers. However, if I don't have an urgent deadline beckoning, there's nothing stopping me from turning in a couple hours earlier. The world is not going to come crashing down because I didn't knock out five e-mails or write 60 lines for just one night. It's okay, I'm learning, to not finish "the mommy list," -- as tempting as it is to run laps when our kids are sleeping. I mean, does it really ever end, anyway?
I always knew intellectually that my skin would be rewarded for this, and that healthy amounts of sleep would do my parenting mood good. But I also get, that it's not always manageable to get as much sleep as you need. The important thing is to try. Just like your child may not accept a vegetable or a fruit at the first serving -- maybe s/he takes it at the seventh. You improvise, sneak it in, take a nap if you feel so inclined. Most importantly, have a stress-free approach. It's not a prescription per se, it's literally: resting.
Your Best Sleep 1-2-3:
Your skin performs its most significant maintenance at night, when growth hormone spikes, helping with the repair of cell and tissue damage. As a bit of proof, I noticed with delight that as I got more sleep, my spot acne was healing in one day, rather than in two or three. Collagen production also speeds up during sleep, and this is what helps maintain the moisture in your skin. The more natural moisture you can maintain, the more radiant you will look. And, sleep is restorative for your immune system as a whole, which provides you defenses against rashes.
1) Studies have shown that there's no magic number for how many hours of sleep you need a day. Six to seven hours is about the average for what seems to work for most, but it really depends on the individual. You probably already have an idea of what works for you. You may operate fine on five hours -- maybe you need eight. The key is to try to maintain some form of regularity.
2) Keep your bedroom clear of stimuli-hubs and distractions like tvs, computers, gaming consoles, etc. The place where you sleep should be calm, quiet, and reserved specifically for slumber.
3) Why not pamper yourself with a little bit of spa before you head off to dreamland? I'm a big fan of moisturizing facial cloth masks, because they are mess-free, take no time to apply, and feel, quite simply, cool and wonderful. Try Shu Uemura Depsea Moisturizing Replenishing Eye Mask ($45) for five-minute eye-pampering, or Karuna's Hydrating Mask ($28 for 4) for a 10-minute, full-face treatment.
Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on www.nuybeauty.com.