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.


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.


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

  2. 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!