22 April 2011

Time to Sleep

Welcome back. Before I leave my staying healthy kick, I’d like to comment about sleep. I’m sure you’ve heard the average adult sleeps 7 or 8 hours a night. Do you sleep that much? I drag down the average, though less since I retired.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Hamlet may be thinking of death; I’m elated to sleep. For the past 20 years, sleeping more than five hours a night was an event to be celebrated. I would unfailingly turn on my alarm every night only to turn it off before it summoned me.  

I would seldom have difficulty falling asleep. It was the staying asleep part that I failed to master. If I awoke for whatever reason after, say, midnight, I would begin pondering the myriad of pressing or un-pressing matters that required my immediate attention and eventually slip noiselessly out of bed and bedroom.

Because I needed so little urging to rise and shine, I programmed the ringer on our primary phone to go silent at the time we normally went to bed at night. That may sound foolhardy, but I grew up when a midnight call could only be terrible family news, not giggling girls seeking our son. 

One ring, I’m up. And it’s not like I am delaying the terrible family news forever. I’m up and at ’em early and I do check voice mail.

On those rare nights--five or six a year--when I would bow to the sleep god, Hypnos, or his son, Morpheus, for more than five hours, I was impossible to live with. Being so wide awake, I couldn’t stop being hilarious.

Boy sleeping on a carabao, Philippines.
And Now?

Retired, I still sleep five hours max. After waking, however, I now:
*  exercise
*  partake of my mixed cold cereal, fruit and yogurt breakfast
*  tend to Boss (cat)
*  wake Vicki (wife), who hasn’t retired and must get off to work, and
ta-dah…nap for 30 to 60 minutes or more.
 

What a metamorphosis!
 

Lest you think I’m squandering my day, this all occurs before 7AM. Would an afternoon siesta be of benefit? Sure, if I weren’t wide awake. Also, a post-lunch snooze might prevent my falling asleep at night. 

Wrap Up
 

Rather than agonize about not getting 7 or 8 hours sleep a night, I’ll take what I can get, then add a nap. Am I still hilarious after sleeping so much? Hmmm…Maybe that’s why Vicki hasn’t retired.
 

Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll write again in about a week.
 

P.S. 

Listening to news on the radio this week, I heard Cornell's Prof. James Maas commented about sleeping air traffic controllers. I've yet to read his latest book, Sleep for Success, but you may find it of interest.

2 comments:

William said...

Seen this?http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sleep-t.html?_r=1&ref=sleep

Anonymous said...

Greetings from YK - Good to know what you're up to!!!

I am lucky if I get more than 4 hour a day. And, I have sleep apnea, for which I am supposed to wear this mask attached to a long tube that connects to a machine to pump air into my nose. A horrible thing! So I stopped using it after a few days. Need to start using it again and go in for a one month checkup with this "sleep doctor."

Please say Hello to Vicki!