It reduces fine lines and stress wrinkles and minimizes break-outs. It adds pink and plump to the parts of the face that you want to be pink and plump and takes away pink and plump from the parts of your face where you don’t. It lowers your shoulders and helps you stand up straight. It reduces appetite and encourages healthy eating. It increases the likelihood that you will take the stairs not the elevator.
If you try this on a regular basis the chances that you will engage in self- mutilating behavior such as nail-biting and prescription pill addiction are substantially lowered.
It is associated with an overall improved performance in the area of personal hygiene. It’s also associated with running, swimming, yoga and a preference for ‘joining in’ when there’s a group exercise activity like dancing or softball or helping a friend move. It whitens the whites of your eyes.
But it doesn’t just make you beautiful on the outside.
It makes you kind. It makes you a better person. A better mother. A better friend. A better you. It’s makes you bake for school bake-sales and clean out closets so you can donate gently-used baby items to homeless, single mothers. It enhances job performance. It makes you more likely to fix the printer yourself or call Sprint to trim some of those unnecessary expenses. It makes you more likely to read the newspaper and show empathy for suffering in the world.
It also makes you happy. And not just because you look better and everyone loves the brownies you baked for the bake sale and the homeless women in your town have swaddling blankets for their babies. But because it literally goes into the brain and replaces a circuitry of doom with a dopamine firing squad that bombards your neurons with an overwhelming sense of security and well-being.
Double-blind, randomly controlled trials have shown that it reduces inexplicable depression, free floating anxiety, existential despair and “grumpiness.”
Research has also clearly demonstrated that without it you will be and have none of the things listed above. You will look sallow and dour. You will have bags and pouches and a noticeable slump. Your muscle tone will deteriorate. You’ll drive two blocks to buy milk instead of walk. You’ll sit in your drive-way afterwards and cry. You’ll think pushing a happy child on a swing is a blatant metaphor for your miserable Sisyphean life. You’ll lose the ability to answer the question, “what would be fun to do today?” You might lose your job, or never get one. You’ll watch TV until the last talk show host hosts the last show of the night.
Studies have shown that people will die without it.
As a parent, you’ll never get enough.
I’m talking about sleep.