Like most holidays, Valentine's Day is no holiday for moms. On Thursday night, I was scrambling for V-Day gifts (nothing says I love you more than a Star Wars Lego book, right?); on Saturday I was policing the glue stick usage as we made 18 Valentines for Ben's class; and Monday morning, as you're reading this, I'm going to be cutting gobs of strawberries for V-Day parties.
Add in running, regular chores, a little work and forget the special pink and red M'n'M's. I'm just ready for bed.
And by bed, I mean sleep. Not reading, not pillow talk, not a little V-Day romance. I mean drooling, then twitching, then REM, then dreams, then waking up at least 8 hours later. I am extremely anal about my sleep habits. Lights out by 10, and preferably by 9:15 or so. Boring? Yes. (If you don't believe me, ask my husband: on Friday night, when I was crawling in at about 8:45, he said, "Really? On a Friday night?" Really.) But the truth is, I know sleep is more important to my well-being than my diet or my running. If sleep comes up short, nothing else--my patience, my productivity, my ability to think clearly--has a fighting chance. (In other words, pink M'n'M's by the handful!)
So leave it to two women, both former college basketball coaches and athletes, to try to maximize what little sleep moms get. As chronicled in the newest issue of O magazine, Susan Walvius and Michelle Marciniak were fingering a pair of silky soft basketball shorts, and immediately wanted to wrap themselves in them. The result? Sheex, self-described performance sheets. Made of a polyester and Lycra blend, these stretchy sheets are designed to keep you cool and comfy: they regulate your body temperature as capably as your favorite running outfit does. Just like running in cotton leaves you hotter and clammier than running in a tech tee does, sleeping in cotton can cause you to overheat and sweat, as one of us--not naming names--who is hitting the perimenopause can attest.
Or, I could just sum them up as Amelia did last night when she crawled into our bed and pronounced them, "running sheets."
In the running sheets, I don't sweat. (So it's SBS who is hot flashing, but I can soak a tank top too.) And neither does SBS, who had some crazy dreams during her slumbers in them, which she chalks up to deep REM. Will they improve our running? Not sure, but I'm not sure I care either. Whether you're Kara Goucher, who is staring down the Boston Marathon after giving birth in September, or a tired mom hoping to hit 10-minute-miles without a jogging stroller, we can all use as many (non-pharmaceutical) tools in our sleep aid box as possible. Performance is good, but feeling rested? So much better.
So in honor of Valentine's Day, we're toasting to a different kind of sweet: sweet dreams. We're giving away a set of Sheex to a random winner. All you have to do is tell us: What constitutes a good night sleep for you? No--or less than three--interruptions from the peanut gallery? Five or nine hours of continuous sleep? Nine? Dreams you can remember? Waking up on your own time?
Give us some details on your slumber preferences, and you may be sleeping in some Sheex.
p.s. Loved, loved, loved the response to last week's giveaway--and I'm not just saying that because it's V-Day. A whopping 555 of you declared, "I am a runner!" I heard you all roar, but only one--a lucky Bretta Hayes--can take home the sweet Brooks Glycerin Skirt and Jacket. Bretta writes: "I am a runner. I'm a momma, a wife, a friend...and soon to a marathoner. I AM a runner!" We believe you, Bretta! E-mail us at runmother at gmail dot com and we'll get you set up, Brooks-style, for your marathon.