Monday 5 January 2015

The Incredible Rejuvenating Powers of Sleep!

Mine was a funny ol’ Christmas. In the week leading up to it, I had a nasty allergic reaction to hair dye. It’s the same hair dye that I have been using on and off for years, without as much as a solitary urge to scratch my scalp. This was something else – swollen lips, plus red, sore and itchy eyes, and an irritated scalp that I couldn’t stop scratching.

A 3-day course of steroids later and I was back on my feet, but not without irritation. I had missed my girls’ Christmas night out! Oh well, there’s always next time!

Thankfully, Christmas itself came and went without a hitch. The kids got the toys they were hoping for, we didn’t run out of food and drink, and the 3-days spent staying over with close relatives passed happily and as peaceful as the season demands – not one argument or tantrum. Result!

Back home again, I was feeling content and looking forward to hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Then, with just a few days to go, I developed what can only be described as the mother of all urine infections.

I’ve had urine infections before but nothing like this. I’ll spare the detail other than to say it involved a raging fever, umpteen trips to the loo and lots of howling. I was prescribed a week-long course of antibiotics and told to rest.
Pills, Pills, Pills: On my Christmas Menu
Rest came easily. I immediately slipped into a 48-hour sleep marathon, broken only by my husband nudging me awake for medication doses and refuelling of food. When I finally emerged from my Sleeping Beauty-esque experience I was shocked at what a saw.

It was my face! My complexion was radiant and peachy, my skin tone even.  My skin looked plumped and youthful, and it felt soft, incredibly soft. How could this be? I’ve just spent days stuffing my face with unhealthy and calorific Christmas fare, followed by illness and 48-hours of enforced skincare cold *pun alert* turkey!

The answer, of course, lies with sleep. I’m not ignorant of the importance of sleep (it’s during sleep that our skin repairs itself) and I’m brutally aware that I don’t get enough – I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of kip a night, normally. But I didn’t figure that such a shut-down of my system would have such a powerful anti-ageing effect on my skin.

It’s temporary, I know, and as soon as I get back to my old sleep patterns normal skin service will resume. Sleep. Isn’t it wonderful? If I only we could find a way to bottle it!

Sleeping Beauty Pic: Joana Coccarelli 

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