Oleda Baker on the Health and Beauty Benefits of Sleep – Guest Post

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As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

Oleda wrote a wonderful column about the health and beauty benefits of sleep for the Growing Bolder Community. She has offered to let me reprint it here for you.
Is there really such a thing as “Beauty Sleep?” Believe me, there is. Here’s why and how to get it.

Stories about models “playing ‘til-the-wee-hours-of-the-morning” (that some filmmakers portray) are not true. It might be true of “would-be” models, but it would put serious ones out of business within a month.

Most models I worked with in New York felt they absolutely needed 7 to 8 hours of sleep to look their best and to stay at the top of their careers. Friday and Saturday nights might have been “party nights” but Sunday night — back to the Beauty Sleep for Monday morning assignments.
I believe strongly that sleep gets rid of certain chemicals that build up in our bodies every day. There are also several molecules involved in cell-to-cell communication within the brain that are important for sleep and especially for our long-range health and beauty.

Poor sleeping habits can not only rob you of beauty and health but can cause some day-to-day problems, such as general tiredness, feeling irritable, lack of energy, poor concentration and memory, more mishaps and illnesses.

So how well do you sleep? If not well here’s how to get a better quality (soundness) out of your sleep.

1. Make sure you are taking enough Vitamin B-Complex. If you’re anxious or stressed B-Complex can also help soothe your nerves, calm you and generally paves the way for a better night’s sleep. It’s difficult to get enough B-Complex in the food we eat, especially as we get a few years on us, and, since it is a water soluble vitamin, you cannot overdose. (Take B-Complex not just B12, you need all the B’s together to make them work.)
2. Do not eat late at night … or at least 3 or 4 hours before retiring.
3. Do not do heavy exercise before going to bed. Keep your body calm.
4. Take a short walk after dinner … a 10-20 minute slow walk is sufficient.
5. No caffeine after 3 or 4 p.m. … watch out for coffee, chocolate or sodas.
6. Try not to take “sleeping pill” prescriptions. That is forced sleep and may have side effects over a period of time. If necessary, try taking a natural nutritional formula with Kava Kava or herbal tea like Chamomile, Passion Flower and Hops. This helps you fall asleep and wake up more naturally.
7. Find out if your mattress is the right one for you. It may be more important than you think.
8. Don’t forget that a warm cup of milk helps get you to sleep, too.
9. Make sure lights are blocked in the bedroom. The room should be dark.
10. Wear earplugs to keep out noise.
11. Make sure the temperature of the bedroom is comfortable.
12. Take a warm bath before going to bed. Making this part of a nightly ritual can help you to relax and make sleep come more naturally.
13. If you are anxious about “things to do tomorrow” – make a list and keep it by your bedside.

If you find you still can’t sleep consult your physician … you must have your proper rest!

Sleep well.


Editor’s note: As regular readers know, I am very interested in sleep and have posted on it several times. To learn more about the nature and function of sleep in your life check out the following blog post:

How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?


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Filed under aging, Exercise, health, sleep, sleep deprivation

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