Sleep for most of us over 50, becomes an elusive beast. Those crazy hormones messing with your sleeping rhythm! And how childishly happy are we, when we wake in the morning and think…”Wow that was a great sleep!”
I, like you, have tried everything and…anything over the years to get the so called 8hrs recommended sleep. But I gave up on that pipe dream a long time ago!
Who came up with it? I don’t know anyone that gets 8hrs uninterrupted sleep. And who isn’t having sleep issues during menopause. It’s like we’ve been set up for disappointment.
I accept that I wake up and stagger to the loo 98% of the time. I drink a lot of water so the getting up during the night is not a new thing for me. My sleep is broken. I have two sleeps. They call it Biphasic Sleep.
And as long as the quality of those two sleeps is good…I don’t beat myself up anymore. Agonising over “Oh nooooo I didn’t sleep all the way through again!!”
Sometimes I wake up at 3…with some fabulous ideas floating around in my brain. Can’t stop thinking about them…so get up, write them down…and then go back to bed. And still wake up feeling good.
If the quantity is not there…it’s ok. As long as the quality, however short, was good…yaaay me! It’s often our minds repeatedly telling us over and over again during the day “Rrrrrr I didn’t sleep well last night…I’m going to be so tired today” that convinces us that we’re tired!
Have you ever had a power nap during the day…of 5 minutes and woke up feeling fantastic? It makes me laugh….you feel like you’ve been to sleep for hours but it’s only been a few minutes!
Interestingly, in medieval times, people used to split their sleep into two. And did chores and jobs in between those sleeps. They’d go to bed between 9 and 10. Sleep for 3 – 3.5 hrs. Their first sleep. Get up after midnight for an hour or so and do whatever. Then take a second sleep….until dawn.
It all changed with the Industrial Revolution and the invention of artificial illumination. Messing with our circadian rhythms!
So you could nap during the day and then sleep shorter at night. Or accept your nighttime sleep is in two parts. And stop agonising over “Why can’t I get 8hrs sleep?”
Maybe we need to stop being so obsessed by this 8hr uninterrupted ‘thing’ and start looking at sleep a bit differently. Not what we’re supposedly supposed to have! But how we feel as individuals with the quality of the broken sleep we get.