Beauty Sleep, what I wouldn't give for a good night's sleep. How many times have we uttered those very words during our adult life?
Remember the luxury of childhood, when you could fall into a deep sleep--any time, any place?
What we learned as children from the Sleeping Beauty Fairytale:
Filled with jealousy, the evil witch Maleficent curses Princess Aurora to die on her 16th birthday. Thanks to Aurora's guardian fairies, she only falls into a deep sleep that can be ended with a true-love's kiss (from her betrothed, Prince Phillip ). To prevent Phillip from rescuing Aurora, Maleficent kidnaps and imprisons him. The good fairies are the last hope to free Phillip so that he can awaken Aurora.
This is not restorative sleep. Nor does it hold the key to longevity that woman (and people in general) strive to attain. For most of my adult life I've managed to function on six-or-less hours of sleep each night.
Was it a subconscious fear (Sleep Beauty Syndrome)? Naw. It was just reality and obligations crowding out the remints of a childhood sleep pattern.
I found myself reading articles and even interviews given by famous and not-so-famous people. Why? because my doctor help harping, "you need to have 7 - 9 hours of sleep each night."
I promised I'd try.
He didn't believe me (I could tell). He wrote down the amount of Vitamin D and C I needed to take daily and scheduled me for a return visit.
What did I learn in my research?
Betty White is a 98 year-old actress and comedian whose career has spanned 80 years. In promoting sleep she says, "Get at least 8 hours of beauty sleep, nine if you're ugly."
"The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time" by Arianna Huffington (Harmony Books, 2017). Sleep is considered an important part of our routine and is essential for survival, as are food and water. Recent research suggests that sleep has a housekeeping roll by removing toxins in our brain that accumulate when we are awake. For older adults, less than seven hours of sleep a night generally is considered insufficient. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine refers to a study by UCLA researcher who discovered that "just a single night of insufficient sleep can make older adult's cells age quicker.
Betty White was right! (No woman volunteers to become ugly).
8 hours of sleep?
Since I hadn't even hit the 7 mark, this was going to be a difficult milestone.
No coffee after dinner.
No writing until 2:00 AM.
No late night news programs, or crime shows.
Little by little (15 minutes each week), I was able to almost make 7 hours.
Do I feel better?
Can I inch my way up to 8 hours each night, maybe.
How about you?
Are you sleeping the recommended 8 hours each night?
If so, what's you secret?
Or are you making it a goal for 2021?
Do you need a little help?
Here's something I discovered:
Chocolate also contains tryptophan, which stimulates serotonin and melatonin. And serotonin and melatonin are believed to help sleep.
Yay! This is the preverbal carrot at the end of the stick.
And here's an easy recipe:
Heaven in a Crockpot
Prep time: 20 mins. Cook time: 200 mins. on low
(I use a crockpot liner so this doesn't stick). Thought a non-stick cooking spray may work well.
1 box of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 pouch of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cookie Mix (also tried Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix)
Cream all together (I added a little water because I thought it was too thick). Scrape the edges of the bowl to make certain it's well combines. Spoon into crockpot.
The end result is a hot, gooey, lava-cake-like dessert.
I spooned into individual (small) Mason jars to cool and store in the fridge.
You can top with ice cream, if desired.
And, yes, it does help you sleep.
Sleep well. Eat well.
Indulge in a Romance Novel and Chocolate both soothe the soul and bring that touch of magic back into your life.
Wishing you a Happy and Blessed 2021,
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