I came across a couple of articles about sleep which made me contemplate how my sleep patterns have changed with age.
We’ve discussed sleep before:
I used to regularly sleep for eight hours a night. If I managed an extra hour, I felt fantastic and achieving ten hours turbocharged me! These days, at the age of 65, it’s more like six to seven hours of good quality sleep. I don’t feel deprived, but if I do feel drowsy during the day I’ll nap for an hour, sitting up in my chair, which invigorates me. It doesn’t often happen, perhaps four times a year.
Drowsiness can be a clue to health problems and disrupted nocturnal rest. My long-term partner suffered from sleep apnoea, which she was wholly unaware of, but when she stopped breathing, I woke instantly. She lacked energy during the day, frequently dropping off to sleep in the evening while watching television.
There are a couple of drowsiness tests mentioned in this article:
(I scored 3 in the Epworth Sleepiness Scale)
I think that because I’m so regular in my habits, it helps me to sleep. I’ve done jobs that were the enemy of sleep, such as getting up at 4.00 a.m. to be at the milk depot an hour later, to load an electric milk float and deliver 450 pints. Finishing work by 10.00 a.m., I needed to find ways to wind down before going home to sleep a few hours, waking to greet my partner at six o’clock. I was always in bed by 10.00 p.m. Milkmen soon start to look like the Walking Dead!
This job mimicked the old way of sleeping in two sessions:
Nowadays, I work from eight o’clock to 1.00 a.m., retiring to bed to read for an hour, before turning the lights out. Fortunately, I’ve never been bothered by sleeplessness—proof of having a clear conscience?—or, no conscience at all!
Those plagued with insomnia become obsessed with sleep, which probably worsens their plight. A new device tracks a person’s sleep, which an insomniac might view as helpful. To me, it’s proof of how obsessed some people are with measuring everything in the 21st-century:
If you’re constantly monitoring yourself day and night, when do you ever relax and just enjoy being alive?
How do you sleep?