The Nightly Fashion Show

Tuesday, Feb 14 2017

Sleep is an important part of everyone's life, but just how important is it?

Posted by Ann Clark

Someone mentioned  "The Nightly Fashion Show" the other day and I started laughing without even truly understanding what she meant. Once I got it, it all made sense.  Women of a certain age have a lot to deal with during the “change.”  Lost sleep, lost fluids (sweat) and a great amount of discomfort.

Courtesy La Perla

So what is a nightly fashion show? Well, it might be a change into something from Victoria’s Secret or La Perla for a night of fun, but more often I think it refers to unwanted efforts due to midlife necessity changing your sleepwear multiple times during the night to shed perspiration soaked clothing.

Courtesy Victoria's Secret

Sleep to a middle aged woman is often elusive. And actually, sleep is elusive to many people. When my children were babies, I went to a pediatrician whom I called the “Sleep Nazi.” Marc Weisbluth, M.D. is well known for his book entitled “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby.” His basic philosophy is that babies need to be taught how to sleep and sleep begets sleep. The more you sleep the more you want to sleep. 

Everyone loves a sleeping baby, but in fact, babies are not naturally inclined to sleep. Babies don’t know how to sleep and have underdeveloped nervous systems, so when overtired, they cannot soothe themselves to sleep.

So what happens to middle aged women when they can’t sleep then? I now know the feeling of being overtired. It is more difficult to go to sleep when I am exhausted and overtired. Since this phenomenon has set in, I have realized something yet more important. 

Courtesy Huffington Post UK

Nature has a funny way of training us for the next phase of our lives. When I was pregnant, I didn’t sleep very well. I think this was nature’s training course for the sleepless nights I would experience with a newborn.  Now in my middle age, I think the lack of sleep is a different message.  Sleep has less significance in my life and on those sleepless nights, sure, I might lie in bed running things through my head from the day or for the next day of activities. I used to think about every minute of sleep I was losing. This was not a useful way to think about sleeplessness. In fact if, after a night of less than optimal sleep I am not tired, why would it matter if I got the requisite sleep? Get on with my day and enjoy it.

Message from the sleep fairies: Live your life to the fullest as the years slip away from you.

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