Sex and Sleep The Greatest Youthmakers of All
Lets take first things first. Which means sex, of course. A friend asked me recently, “Are you really one of those people who believes that one’s sex life shows in every pore?” You can bet your beauty I do! Remember the old “radiant bride” routine? Well, I don’t know if they make those any more (blushing brides, I mean), but I do know that a solid satisfying sex life is good for your skin, good for your figure, good for your nerves. In fact, I can’t think of a single thing it isn’t good for. And it’s fun besides. I think you might say I’m a sexual activist.
I can almost tell just by looking at a woman whether or not there’s a good (for her) man in her life. There’s always a dewy look to the skin, a bounce to the walk, a swing of the hair, and an air of cool relaxation. One of the greatest skin specialists in the world has been known to counsel his patients to “keep up the good sex life.” Seems the two great skin, great sex go hand in glove. Perhaps it’s due in part to the sexual flush, which is real and very well medically proven. You know all that blood that rushes to the face, making for a pretty terrifically natural skin treatment.
Not only that, you’ll never see tense little lines in the face of a sexually well-cared-for woman. The relaxation practically seethes from every pore. There we go again, full circle: It does show up in every pore. And before I could answer her question, my friend, whose lovely skin tells all about her love life mused, “Yes, I suppose it does!”
In the dazzling discotheque days of the mid-sixties (remember then?), my favorite dancing partner, a young man at least ten years my junior, used to pick me up at, say, 11:30 p.m. for a round on the town. He’d exclaim, “You look great!” and then add in a somewhat accusatory tone, “You took a nap, didn’t you?” Natch. First of all, you really can’t burn the candle at both ends and look like anything but a burnt-out candle. Sleep is, always has been, and always will be better than any cosmetic, manufactured or natural, for an unlined skin, a radiant vitality, and a relaxed view of the world, no matter how harrying that world may become. But sleep, in this harried world, seems to be increasingly elusive. Millions of Americans resort to sleeping aids of one sort or another, from pills to booze to an often fatal combination of the two. And it has been said that a drugged sleep is simply a paralyzed body rather than a healthfully rested one.
The answer to sleeplessness is so simple as to be practically unbelievable. It lies deep in the roots of folk medicine. Remember that warm-milk-at-bedtime story? Right! For calcium is the great natural tranquilizer, and, though it’s doubtful that our forebears understood the workings of the warm milk remedy, they most certainly had the right answers. Adelle Davis believes in calcium as a sleeping aid so firmly that she suggests that you keep those calcium tablets right on your bedside table, with a glass of milk beside them, and that you swallow several each and every time you awaken during the night.
I can personally attest to the put-out power of calcium. I am a light sleeper, and in the hubbub of New York City, where apartments have practically paper walls, that’s bad. Besides, sleeping pills can put me away for days and leave me with a hangover that wasn’t even fun to get! So I tried Miss Davis’ remedy … I took six giant-looking calcium lactate tablets before bedtime (calcium lactate seems to be the form most recommended for sleep-help) and pow! Instant knock-out. I felt as though I had been hit with a hammer, slept soundly, and awoke feeling like a kitten.
The herbalists have long recognized the value of camomile tea as a soothing sleep-giver. Fortunately for lazy herb-users like myself, such teas are on the market in tea bag form (purist herbalists may recoil in horror, but the sleep-effect is the same). Camomile tea is made, of course, from the camomile flower the same camomile
flower that works so well on your hair. Its taste is enchanting and I guarantee that this is one tea that will, even when drunk in the middle of the night, never keep you awake.
If you don’t have a comfortable mattress plus a comfortable pillow, then get one! And this means comfortable for you and never mind what the alarmists tell you about brick-hard mattresses being the only kind to have. That may be true if you like brick-hard mattresses. I don’t. After all, at 103 pounds, I’m not going to make a dent in a super-duper-ortho-firm affair, whereas a 300-pound man might truly need just that. Of course, trying to find a medium mattress these days is a bit of a problem. I have even gotten mattress manufacturers to admit that they don’t make ’em like they used to any more the reason being the great backache scare. Apparently those tales about backs and hard mattresses have frightened people into buying bricks, and, according to one salesman I spoke with, those same people often come around complaining that they can’t sleep. So I say go with what’s comfortable for you. And forget what you read about backaches. If you happen to like hard, then fine. But do be sure that, whatever degree of firmness you choose, your springs are good and non-sagging.
As for that pillow . . . well, remember, that if you’re given to puffy eyes, never, but never sleep without a pillow. You’re sure to awaken looking like the frog-princess, and when the swelling subsides you’ll have not-so-neat little stretch-wrinkles to show for it. Always sleep with your head elevated. It’s O.K. to put your feet up now and again, and to practice those ever-so-relaxing headstands we spoke about. But not for an entire night!
If you live in the big city, as I do, where the clangor and clamor simply never stops and the sirens scream about the streets all night, and electronic alarms go off for hours with nobody, but nobody, caring except for poor little you, trying to get your beauty rest then consider buying one of those marvelous little machines that just sits there and hums like an air conditioner. Really! That’s all it does. No breeze, no heat, no nothing except a heaven-sent drowning out of street noises, neighbor noises, radios, and TV sets. (Apartment living is definitely not for the light sleeper’s life-style but what is one to do?) These are relatively cheap, but if you are feeling flush you may even want to go for one that makes sounds like waves. Or rain on the roof. I bought mine to drown out the snoring of a certain gentleman who was sharing my pad at that moment. (He swears it kept him awake!
I don’t know how, since he continued to snore.) Since that time, I’ve used it to drown out the basketball player upstairs who dribbled that ball across a bare floor at 4:00 a.m. And the little old lady downstairs who forgets to turn off the tub water and has not only a flood on the floor, but one rushing through the pipes that makes Niagara a piker. Let’s just say the investment in rest is well worth the $29.95 spent. P.S. If you’re a newly-transported-to-the-country girl, it drowns out crickets, barking dogs, and early rising birds, as well.
And, since we’ve linked them together once, let’s do it again. Remember sex is the greatest of all soporifics. As Dr. Abraham Friedman put it, if, after a good go at sex, you head for the refrigerator, you’re doing something wrong. What you should feel like heading for is bed! And if you’re not sleepy yet well, you’re already in bed, now, aren’t you?