Catherine Deneuve famously said, many years ago, that her secret to natural beauty was a lot of sleep. She always tried to sleep 9 hours a night. Every health book/website, even my doctor will advise you to get enough sleep if you wish to go through the day with a semblance of alertness and concentration.

Being an almost stranger to insomnia and incredibly adaptable to jet leg, I am dreading the onset of menopause and one of its taunted symptoms – sleeplessness. Whenever I don’t feel particularly tired or if I am wired up for whatever reason, 40 drops of valerian help me ease into sleep. I know – I am lucky judging from the statistics proclaiming that over one-third of people my age cannot get a good night sleep.

Even I, though, rarely average over 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. I remember with fondness the days of my youth when I could rise from bed at 1 in the afternoon as a matter of course. That was in my 20’s. In my 30’s, I would open my eyes at 9, get up to get a paper and make breakfast, eat it in bed and then go back to snoozing until noon.

These days, when the sun makes an appearance through the blinds, I am generally wide awake. Which is why, when I rolled over this Sunday morning and looked at the alarm clock, I briefly thought the electricity had gone out during the night until I remember my alarm clock is battery-powered. And it read 9:30. I had slept for 10 and half hours. Uninterrupted. Not even after three consecutive flights around the world could I will myself to do that.

I felt more rested than I had in months and I did look ten years younger. Well, maybe I am exaggerating but, looking in the mirror, I had to concur with Ms. Deneuve – this kind of  sleep for a few months in a row could take 10 years off my face.

I should take a cue from Ottie who sleeps 10 hours every night, gets up, tools around the yard for a bit, retrieves the paper, has a filling breakfast and goes back to sleep so soundly, as if he had put a full day worth of effort. Trying to cram eons of activities in a finite amount of hours is not a recipe for looking any younger.

Come to think of it, over 10 hours of sleep also put me in a remarkably good mood.


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Filed under aging, women's issues

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