One of the stereotypical beliefs about aging I recall learning as a kid is that older people don’t need as much sleep. Now that I am an older person, I am questioning this – a lot!

I am sleeping less, but definitely not because I need less sleep. Most days, I am physically quite active. I’m well past the stage of waking up because kids need feeding (or are late getting home).

I stay up too late and wake up too early. Sometimes I can blame the cats demanding food, but not always. There are other reasons too: arthritis pain, tiny bladder, muscle cramps, the state of the world and what that means for my kids (because you never stop worrying even when they are grown).

Sam’s solution of middle-of-the-night Wordle doesn’t work for me. Wordle just leads to Globle, Worldle, Nerdle, Waffle and Flaggle, and then eventually to social media, on-line solitaire, news from around the world, and sometimes Duolingo.

I know from experience that if I could just get myself to bed earlier, I would have a better chance of longer sleep. I get really sleepy in the early evening, but then perk up and stay awake until midnight if I don’t go to bed right away. The 5 am wake-up is constant.

But how to do that? Some of my exercise choices can’t be moved because evening classes are the only option. A book or magazine can help, if it isn’t too interesting – but why would I read a boring one? Camomile tea works well, despite the risk of tiny bladder consequences.

How I feel in the morning, surrounded by some of the things that help and hinder my sleep. Image is of my grumpy-faced cat, sprawled over a beige stuffed animal on a pillow, with a dull book on the bed.

Dear readers: help! What are your suggestions for building an earlier bedtime habit?

3 thoughts on “Sleepless

  1. What a bummer about the sleep problem! Especially the immovable 5am wakeup– brutal… 🙂 I have had big sleep problems getting to sleep . It was both hard to disconnect from the world (and devices) and to calm the monkey mind. I have been taking 1mg of melatonin (sometimes 2mg), which has helped me get sleepy. Still, it takes some oomph to respond to the sleepiness and turn off the light. Melatonin is over-the-counter, but it’s still a good idea to talk with your health care provider. My doc had me start very low– 1mg– which works most of the time. As for possible placebo effect: who cares? 🙂 I really sympathize, and hope this period of lack of enough sleep passes. Keep us posted with updates.

  2. Maybe I am not the best person to answer, as I have always been an early-to-bed person when possible. But when I think it’s bed time & am not too sleepy, I just crawl in with a book. Not a dull book, but one I have read before and enjoyed. A just-for-fun book. So I don’t worry if I don’t fall asleep right away, but if/when I do get sleepy, I don’t struggle to stay awake to find out what happens. I am 70. I do sleep a lot, probably because I am very, very active, but I also wake up more often during the night. It’s different, but so far, not a problem. I suspect there is no one-size-fits-all answer (which is pretty much true of everything – clothes, food, interests…why would sleep be different?). I wish you luck in finding your ideal solution,

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