Ana Toledo
4 min readMay 1, 2021


Since I was young, I’ve always admired people that can sleep for hours on end.

I am thrilled when I can sleep a full eight hours.

My favorite sleeping position is on my left side, neck aligned with the body, pillow between the knees. I adopted this position after my chiropractor explained its physiological benefits.

Side sleeping has been found to have an impact on regenerative body processes such as brain cleansing, slowing down a process that could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps digestion and takes stress off the heart. Other studies have concluded it ameliorates other conditions such as sleep apnea.

When I reached that certain âge that you start scrutinizing your face for wrinkles, I realized that sleeping on my left side had taken its toll on my face. The laugh lines on the left side of my face were considerably more noticeable than on my right side.

Immediately after you wake up, look in the mirror. Observe that side of your face that spends the most time crushed against the pillow. Regardless of your age, your face will reflect what your sleeping habits are like.

Even those of you that who gracefully welcome the visible traces of aging and don’t mind the facial (or cleavage) wrinkles, you are likely surrounded by people who intend to fight them every step of the way.

One of the methods I use to prevent wrinkles doesn’t involve needles or pharmaceuticals; its completely natural and free. It’s a way to stay sleeping face up all night, resisting the desire of turning on my side.

The way I have been able to accomplish sticking to this regime most nights requires codependence, the collaboration of a calm cat or small dog and a significant amount of love.

Meet Lucy.

I rescued her in Old San Juan.

She was about a month old. Her screaming was so loud and persistent, it took over the entire stree. I traced her desperate screeches until she showed her little face on top of a car’s tire. Her huge, scared green eyes captivated me.

I didn’t think twice about bringing her home with me. A month before, a heinous neighbor had poisoned another of my rescued cats, Nami.

Lucy detests being carried. She feels smothered when I try to do so.

Yet, she has no sense of personal space. She’s constantly seeking to lie on my lap or placing her head on my arm. A tickle and attention hoarder.

As I tried to finish writing this post, she decided against it.

From day one, Lucy chose me as her favorite bed.

My anti-aging ritual of sleeping on my back entails placing a pillow under my knees to alleviate lower back pressure and a small one under my neck to soothe the cervical area. Soles of the feet touching, my legs naturally fall to the sides into a diamond shape. It looks as weird as it sounds.

For the past two years, Lucy cuddles in the gap between my legs, making herself into a little circle of fur. She doesn’t’ move during the entire night. Neither do I.

This is where Lucy plays a leading role in this part of my anti-aging regime: most nights I wake up in the same position as I went to sleep because I don’t want to wake precious Lucy.

Those nights that I cannot resist moving, Lucy doesn’t leave my side. She falls back to sleep again so close to me that I know moving would wake her up again.

Lucy loves being queen of the bed. When I’m asleep, I know she bullies my elderly dog Pelusa out of it. She is very possessive of me.

Aside from the love and the separation anxiety Lucy may suffer from, I am certain that the real motive she doesn’t leave my side at night is that she protects me from those things that I sometimes notice that she sees but are not visible to me.




Ana Toledo

Puerto Rican warrior & targeted individual; fighting for equal environmental rights, one pipe at a time”. “Mi nada, a nadie se lo debo.” Julia de Burgos.