Seriously, How Much Sleep Do You Get?

6 years ago

Last week was full of compliments:

"Are you wearing different makeup? I like it!" a colleague said.

"Your skin's got this glow, what are you doing to it?" asked a friend.

"Looking good, honey!" said my husband when we went out Saturday night.

Thing is, I hadn't tried new makeup, gotten a facial, taken a vacation or given away my children. What I had done? For the first time in months, I'd gotten eight hours of sleep several nights in a row. It was absolutely, positively depressing: this realization that I actually looked better with sleep. Who has the time for such luxuries?

I average about six and a half hours of sleep a night, seven if I'm lucky. I'm not alone in my ZZZ-deprived life; most women I know similarly skimp on shuteye. Griping about lack of sleep is one thing we love to do when we hang out (although Cle de Peau concealer is my true BFF).

Last week, The National Sleep Foundation came out with its annual poll; 43 percent of Americans age 13 to 64 say they rarely or never get a good night's sleep on weeknights.

The poll also found that Americans cope with sleeplessness with — gasp — caffeine (three 12-ounce leaded beverages a day, on average) and naps.

Who the hell are these napping people, anyway? And where's the app for naps?

The poll did not explore the following sleep hazards:

  • Being a mother
  • Co-sleeping with a child who tosses and turns like he's in a Shake and Bake commercial
  • YouTube, Damn You Auto Correct and all the other ways the web keeps me World Wide Awake at night
  • Being a mother

To cause myself further distress, I asked a dermatologist friend — Michael Ehrenreich, M.D., Medical Director of SOMA Skin & Laser in Millburn, N.J. — just why lack of sleep makes you look so crappy. He mentioned less glow (people who are chronically sleep-deprived have decreased lipid production, so their skin may lack luster). Also, because tiredness makes muscle tone go slack, eyes appear smaller and brows appear lower — and dark circles under the eyes are accentuated due to puffiness.


"Sleep is the most economical alternative to Botox," Dr. Ehrenreich told me.

Problem is, I can't afford to sleep.

Photo Credit: @RussianLook/ZUMAPRESS

How about you: About how much sleep do you get?

Original to USA TODAY's OwnIt

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