Its all very well telling us the over 40s need more sleep


Sleep Or lack thereof

I could have told you that.  I don’t need a recent study, that presumably applied for some kind of funding to reach this conclusion, to tell me that us over 40s need more sleep.   You just have to look at the state of my eyes to know I need more sleep.  And I know I am not alone.   It is all very well churning out these studies but there are never any helpful tips on how to actually achieve more sleep, are there?

And hearing the news I am more likely to die prematurely thanks to my sleeping habits is unlikely to make me start snoring anytime soon (and I suspect that snoring is what is causing Mr B to lose out on sleep too).

I am not even burning the candle at both ends at the moment, I am just trying to tread water to survive.  As a for instance,  Mr B is out in London tonight at our favourite restaurant and he invited me to come along.  The idea of heading into London on the train at 6pm and then coming home again at 11pm was enough to make me weep.  And then the thought of missing out on amazing steak and the best cheese board in the world made me weep even more.

The latest findings from a major UK public health report says getting more sleep is now a major contributory factor to health for 40-somethings plus – and they want this message to be taken as seriously as the warning about smoking and drinking.

The report, carried out by the University of Warwick, says more sleep leads to a longer and more active life and the campaign will target 40 to 60-year-olds in a bid to encourage them to address any sleep disorder issues.

Great.  Bloody marvellous.    I don’t smoke and contrary to popular opinion during the week I don’t drink.    So why can’t I take the sleep findings and do something about them?

My alarm went off at 6.15 this morning so I could take Mr B to the train station.   That doesn’t happen very often but it is the time I am generally awake in the morning and I cannot tell you the last time I woke up without an alarm.  Even at the weekends I have to set an alarm as somebody needs a lift, a parcel is being delivered, the dog needs walking etc.   So I am up before I wake up naturally.   The school run finished on June 12th and yet pretty much every day since there has been an alarm, even at the weekends as we have been going out, had people coming over, or my to do list has just been so enormous I have had to get up and get on with it.

Mr B doesn’t get home from work until 8.30pm so we don’t eat much before then, rubbish I know, and against everything the dieticians tell us about eating before bedtime.   Which then becomes 11.30 ish.

So where is this sleep supposed to come from?   Where am I meant to squeeze sleep into my day that is going to stop me heading to an early grave?  My first waking thought every day is “can I have an afternoon nap today?”.   I never can, there is never a chance for that, oh how I wish there was.   I wish the University of Warwick would tell me how to achieve that one.   Not tell me what I already sodding know.

My mum said this weekend “you need another two weeks in Barbados”  but I didn’t even sleep out there because my body refused to get into the swing of being five hours behind the UK.  And even if I did sleep in Barbados I would son be home again and back to square one.  I don’t suppose two weeks of decent sleep is going to stop me sleep walking into an early grave.

Does anybody have any magical cures for how on earth I just get more sleep?

Sleeplessness leads to hallucinations and sensory dysfunction – it can lead to mental meltdown

Lisa Artis, the Sleep Council

Well that’s just fabulous isn’t it?  I know that.   There are days when I have felt exactly that but how to solve it?   I am damned if I know!

I am not alone though it seems as only 1% of people get more than nine hours sleep a night.   I couldn’t ever imagine nine hours sleep.  Being in bed for that long seems like some kind of unattainable goal the like of which I was striving for when I had two babies under two.   I have teenagers now so I can’t blame then.

I don’t know what to blame other than my own head.

photo of sleeping dog courtesy of shutterstock

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  • I don’t know how but I sleep/lie horizontally for about 60% of most days at present. Wish I could break the habit!
    After a mug of tea ca 09.00 I read the papers and then comes the 09.45 story, the news and then either Jane or Jennie who lull me to sleep for another 45 minutes or so. The whole thing is addictive!

  • Sleep is an elusive pastime here too… I’ve just had a couple of bad nights and could not nod off last night as the sound of Mr A breathing was enough to keep me awake. I did manage a catnap on the sofa during ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ though… maybe I should try a box set and sleep downstairs. Here’s hoping you have a better night’s sleep tonight x