We’ve all heard the saying, “Youth is wasted on the young”, but I’ve got a new one;
“Sleep is wasted on the young”!
Remember those heady days when you didn’t want to sleep in case you missed anything but when you closed your eyes, it felt like you were opening them just 5 minutes later, refreshed and ready for a new day? No… I can barely remember them either but when I watch my boys heady disregard for the wonder that is “A good night’s sleep”, I realise that nature has got it all wrong. After all, who actually needs their beauty sleep? Them or me?
Teenagers can seemingly sleep forever, when they really should be doing something far more useful and productive, whereas the elderly struggle to stay asleep for too long and have hours of their day to fill. Just as a woman starts to appreciate the benefits of sleep on her skin she starts having babies and her relationship with sleep is irrevocably changed forever.
Of course, nature prepared us for this, as anyone who has tried to sleep comfortably with an 8 month bump will tell you, and, somehow, we get a practice run at learning to function on just a few hours of shut-eye. Eventually, depending on how many babies we have, these years pass and we slip into a slightly better, if not perfect, sleeping pattern again. But then she’s back, mother nature returns and this time it’s the menopause which for many of us means hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia.
However, as inconvenient and unattractive as these symptoms are, I believe they are our body’s way of preparing us for the next stage of sleeplessness, that is, life with young adults and teenagers!
Who knew the day would come when you wouldn’t tuck them up in bed and enjoy a peaceful evening; that instead, they would stay up longer than you or go out till the wee small hours bringing their friends home to continue the party at yours? Most annoyingly of all, you will have been awake for half of the night but they will have drifted off into a deep and restful sleep. They will wake as if nothing has happened, whilst you’ll look like death and probably lie awake for nights after, feeling hot and sweaty and worrying about your parenting technique.
No wonder we get wrinkles. No wonder we drink wine!!