07/23/2024

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Jennifer Lopez is getting real about an underrated beauty secret: sleep.

In an excerpt from the actress and singer’s newsletter On the JLo, she opens up about how panic attacks made her realize the importance of getting herself enough sleep – and led her to prioritize positive thinking and work-life balance.

“We don’t value sleep,” she writes. “We value polish and hard work – and no one is undeniably more caught up in this fierce competition than I am. However, I’ve found that sleep is the most underrated beauty secret for me.”

“There was a time in my life when I used to sleep three to five hours a night,” she explains. “I would be on set all day, in the studio all night, doing agency and shooting videos on the weekends. I was in my 20s and I thought I was invincible.”

That all changed when she went from “feeling completely normal” in the trailer to feeling immobile.

“I was completely frozen,” she says. “I made my work an all-consuming priority, allowing my own self-care needs to completely disappear (even as simple as sleeping or taking 10 minutes to relax). I found myself feeling physically paralyzed and unable to see clearly then my physical symptoms started to scare me and the fear intensified.”

Lopez, 52, says she now knows it was “a classic exhaustion-induced panic attack,” but admits she couldn’t describe it in words at the time.

“My security guard on set came in to pick me up and drove me to the doctor,” she wrote. “When I got there, I could at least talk again and I was so scared I thought I was crazy. I asked the doctor if I was crazy. He said, ‘No, you’re not crazy. You need sleep …… Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, don’t drink caffeine, and make sure you get exercise if you’re going to be doing so much work. I realized how serious the consequences of neglecting what I needed for my physical and mental health could be – and that’s where my health journey began.”

Since then, she’s been working on achieving balance.

“When I slept more and took care of myself, I realized it was about promoting life versus anti-aging,” Lopez says.

“I think sleep is like a time machine,” she continues. “You lie down and get into a space where you can protect yourself, and then you become a new person younger than you were before. Sometimes I wake up and say, ‘Wow! My face only fell off 10 years ago!’ That’s what a good night’s sleep does for you, and it builds up over time.”

The mom of two has previously spoken publicly about how prioritizing her mental health is an ongoing journey.

In 2021, she opened up to life coach Jay Shetty about the lessons she learned from being in therapy.

“I remember when I first started therapy, you know, in my 30s, there was a lot of talk about loving myself, and I was like, ‘I love myself,'” she told Shetty. “But obviously, I was doing all these things, like my personal relationships, and I didn’t seem to not love myself, but I don’t even understand the concept of it. It took time, it was a journey, and it’s still a journey for me.”

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