I truly believe sleep is the beauty secret no one ever talks about. Millions of dollars, maybe even billions, are spent on creams and elixirs of all kinds, to apply to sagging cheeks, undereye shadows, and those wrinkled webs intricately woven around our orbits.
I am a big believer in moisturizer, but that being said, a few more hours of sleep could replace overly expensive concoctions, applied in copious amounts, in a vain effort to wage war on tell-tale signs of aging.
I think my lack of pure, uninterrupted sleep is causing me to reflect on it, with the zeal of the Ancient Mariner.
I remember those good old teenage years, when sleeping for a glorious ten, twelve or even a fourteen hour stretch was not unheard of. Hunger pangs gently gnawing on an empty stomach finally awakened the sleeping teen. Sizzling sausages for breakfast at noon were delicious, rolled up in a slice of doughy, white bread. I suppose those lazy, teenage breakfasts really qualified as “brunch” – a topic for another day.
Many Americans are early, early risers (The Early Bird Catches the Worm), believing half a day in bed at the weekend, is half a day wasted. I cannot agree. The sleeping Irish giant awakens within, when I hear this argument. A lovely, long sleep is the best way to recharge over-drained batteries. Indulging the inner sloth, is simply the best way for the body to press an internal refresh button.
Alack and alas, I never appreciated those slovenly slumbers in my teenage years. I took them for granted. When I was free to sleep for as long as I wished, or stay up to sing the moon to sleep, it simply never dawned on me there might come a day when I could no longer choose to stay in bed, to sleep for however long I wished.
And now I number amongst the millions of parents whose nightly repose is determined by their children’s sleeping patterns, night mares, growing pains, and the age-old need for Mommy’s snuggly warmth.
As a teenager I slept through vacuuming, sewing machine purrings, and dogs yelping, but now, the mere patter of a tiny pair of feet tottering in the dark to my room, causes me to stir.
Oh, how I loathe those growing pains which cause my son to cry out at night, rubbing his thighs. After dispensing a teaspoon of pain-killer, I hold him tightly, hugging him to help sleep return. Inevitably I drift off beside him, my head hanging over the edge of the mattress, waking a few hours later rubbing the crick in my now stiff neck.
So when I examine my reflection in the mirror and notice those age lines, I dream of uninterrupted sleep. But do I blame my children for my aging face and lack of sleep? Not in the least. Whether I like it or not, most of my weariness is self-inflicted. There is a simple solution. If I crave beauty sleep, then I must simply “go to bed early.” No more burning the midnight oil.
My resolution for this week is to overcome my inherent night owl, and hit the hay by 10 pm. Fingers crossed I can do it, and rejuvenate this aging Mommy face in the process.
Slan agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom