Saturday, October 18, 2008

To sleep, perchance?

I have read in the past on many an occasion that as one grows older, the need for sleep grows less and less. It doesn't mean that one does not need sleep period, but the amount that one needs grows shorter. I have to wonder if that is starting to affect me.

Now granted, I get to sleep a about 3:30 in the very AM on work nights, but as my commute is 30 seconds to my bedroom that is not as bad as it seems. The problem is that I only get between 6-7 hours, and that is often not enough for me. I find myself napping during the day for an hour or more to play catch-up. So last night, on my day off, I went to bed at the normal hour of about 11:30. (I personally wish I had been out with some friends, but it was one of those days, and I was actually pretty whipped.)

Well, I slept fine, until about 6:15, (oh-dark-thirty in my book) when I found myself wide awake. I didn't want to be, but there I was. I got up, fired up the coffeemaker, and just rummaged about the house. I wanted 8 hours, truth be told, but it seems I have to be beyond tired in order to get that, or pump myself with some Benadryl, which I don't like to do unless absolutely necessary.

I have to wonder if it is possibly a symptom of my circadian rhythm being off as well, being used to going to bed much later than I did. I still can sleep relatively deeply, but not like I used to. I quite literally slept through an earthquake once. I visited LA for the first time in 1980, and slept through a 5.0 tremor in my hotel room.

Well, here's hoping tonight goes better. Sunrises are beautiful, but I don't want to see them regularly. I did that for many years, as while a paramedic, I worked the 7am-3pm shift. I am more of a sunset person anyway, and a night owl.

Hoot, hoot.


VioletSky said...

Yep, my circadian rhythm has no more bounce or jangle to it. I wish I could get 6-7 hours straight sleep. Sometimes working nights really sucks - the winter is the worst, I'm just waking up and suddenly it gets dark again and my body: oops bedtime. Hey, I also slept through an earthquake - woke up with my bed on the opposite wall (which was only about 3' away but still).

Jay said...

I don't work nights, but I'm in the same boat. I only seem to be able to get 7-8 hours these days and I really need nine... I do nap in the afternoon sometimes but what I really want is a solid block of deep sleep.

Do you also wake frequently in the night, or wake suddenly half an hour or so after you go to sleep? That may be an indication of a sleep disorder.

Mr. Nighttime said...

VS - Wow, your bed moved? That beats my earthquake story, LOL!

Jay - No, I don't generally wake frequently during the night. I did forget to mention that, on occasion, some of this is caused by my main transplant medication, Prograf. It can cause insomnia, but it doesn't do it anywhere near as much as it used to in the beginning.

Peter said...

I'm glad Prograf is no longer disturbing your sleep as much as it did - I just checked some figures with some sources reporting major insomnia issues ( lists an impressive 64% incidence for insomnia with Prograf)

Benadryl is no longer approved for oral use in Belgium, given it's an old (yet very powerful) antihistaminic.

Guess it's often hard to find a balance in one's waking/sleeping rhythm when getting older (and we all do, don't we ;-). My SO struggled with insomnia for years, but finally found his balance.

And I must agree, sunrises are beautiful, but not a rainy Belgian morning in October :-)

adsisson1 said...

Could be worse. You're like me, 6 hours a night during the work week and 5 or so on weekends. I long for 8 hours a night. I once got only 3 hours in a 72 hour span. I get my sleep rythm from my days working security.

AnneDroid said...

I sympathise with you and your commenters, having the same struggle. I wasn't even a good sleeper as a child - it takes me ages to get to sleep in the first place, I wake up a few times a night and I have lots of dreams - most of them not good ones.

Him Indoors, on the other hand, sleeps like a log, falls asleep immediately his head hits the pillow and can do the power nap thing. If I were the loving wife I should be, I'd be pleased for him. As it is I'm just insanely jealous!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Anne: "If I were the loving wife I should be, I'd be pleased for him. As it is I'm just insanely jealous!"

Isn't that one of the 7 deadly sins? Jealousy of sleep? (Or is that only a venal sin?) ;-)

AnneDroid said...

I don't know, Mr N. I don't know my deadlys from my venals - the Church of Scotland doesn't bother with such technical subdivisions. I'll admit it's a sin though...