Monday, November 19, 2007

Sleep stats~

Sweet dreams~
When you are deprived of it, sleep takes on monumental proportions. It becomes a goal, measured down to the minute, protected by earplugs and rules that warn friends and family not to call until ten on weekends.

Ten? Ha! I wish. But I hold to that rule just in case, because you never know: one morning I might wake, and instead of seeing the sun's horizontal rays creeping across the frosty grass, I'll see a golden noontime glow.

Time Magazine's November 26 issue has a section called: "One Day In America." It's devoted to the average American, who of course is a mirage. Still the article is interesting.

I'm above average in some ways. I have four tenths more of a child that the average family, and I'm 20 plus years above the average age.

I'm below average in the exercising department due to the over achievers who exercise for more than an hour every day and make my exercise stats look sick . . . maybe because they're nonexistent.

When it comes to sleep, I'm pretty average it turns out, which means I'm part of a large group of groggy women. We should call each other up at 3:17 a.m. and talk about it since we're awake anyway.

Average when it comes to sleep stats isn't a good thing, though. It means I'm going to bed at the average time women across the country do--11:02, but not getting the required sleep time. Time magazine says, " . . . only half of us will have a good night's sleep-- 8 hr. 38 min. on average." So sadly, I'm average.

Counting on my fingers, because I'm too groggy to do real math, I figure I sleep about two hours fewer than eight. And I'm only counting "in bed" time. If I subtract the two or three times a night I wake to kick the covers off (sweating) and wake to pull them back on (freezing), I'm in sad shape.

The article goes on to say 67 percent share our beds with another person or pet-- in my case, both, which probably makes me above average here too. Studies find that men sleep just fine in these conditions, but women don't.

Solutions? Go to bed earlier . . . alone. Or get older when sleep time is said to increase, maybe because of retirement. Hey! There's something else I can look forward to in 120 days, but who's counting?
Read To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. You'll see the pet I sleep with.
Read Time Magazine's article and find out how average you are.
O GENTLE SLEEP! do they belong to thee? These twinklings of oblivion? O gentle Creature! do not use me so, But once and deeply let me be beguiled. ~William Wordsworth


Barbara said...

I have always been very fortunate in that I can go to sleep easily. Even though I sometimes get up multiple times in the night to go to the bathroom, I'm asleep within 2 minutes of crawling back in bed. I feel sorry for people with insomnia, because sleep deprivation leaves a person so drained. Retirement may just be the answer for you!

Ruth D~ said...

It can't hurt, Barbara. :>)

Wanda said...

After I retired from 20 years in Property Management...I was so glad that in the mornings I got to decide if I would "roll over" or "roll out"...I felt good after many years to be in control of that decision!! ZZZZZZZZ

Voyager said...

I too sleep with a cat. But she's not a problem. It's the snoring husband that is depriving me of precious sleep. Some nights I have to give him a nudge or a kick every 10 minutes or so. I get up the next morning feeling like a cranky slug, while he exclaims "What a great sleep I had last night." Not fair!
Now I'm off to check out your interview review of books site.

Lisa said...

Great post, Ruth . . .My problem is that I don't sleep deeply enough. I'm a very light sleeper and have active, crazy dreams all night long. I also have to get up to pee several times a night, which doesn't help (sorry for the TMI).

When I wake up and have a hard time getting back to sleep, I find that praying (not out loud), or giving myself Reiki really helps me get back to sleep.

I hope you get lots of restful sleep over the long weekend! (((hugs)))

Janice Thomson said...

Oh what a gorgeous cat Ruth!
I'm very under average because I only sleep for 6 hours - anymore and I wake with a head ache. However like you it is trying to get that 6 hours worth of good sleep - it seems the small dog who shares my bed just has to sleep lengthwise across the bed so that invariably I wake up with a leg in the stomach. LOL Makes you wonder who's the boss in my house...
I can so relate to the hot and cold although I'm long past 'that time' of life.
So does this mean when you retire there will be no blog posts for say a month while you sleep away the days? :P

sc morgan said...

I'm telling you the answer is Benadryl. Almost all peri-menopausal and menopausal women have sleep disturbances. I can count on my bedside clock reading 2:22 (that's AM) or 2:31 or 2:56 on a good night. The problem is not waking at that hour, it's that my internal clock then announces that it's time to get something done. I can roll around for three hours, read a book for an hour, or get up and write something. Maybe we could chat or form a group called the Pre-breakfast Club. I finally settled on 25 mg of Benadryl before bedtime and now happily sleep through the night. Some people claim that they feel groggy the next morning; I just say it's my "normal" self. I love sleep… ZZZZZ!-- s

Ruth D~ said...

Barbara~ Rollover would be my mantra!

V~ I have a snoring husband . . . who gets cranky himself if, or I should say when, I "nudge" him.

Lisa~ I think the active crazy dreams mean you're actually in deep sleep, the REM kind we need. Of course waking up after every dream is counter productive, which you must be doing if you remember them. :>)

Janice~ Sounds like six hours is perfect for you. Kiss the pooch for me. Animals spread out for sure, although Becky won't sleep near my legs. I hate the restriction of motion and I kick wildly until she moves. It took a long tome, but she's trained. She sleeps against Bruce's legs. :>)

Sarah~ I do Benadryl; it's my drug of choice. But I still wake and when I run out-- like now-- it takes me weeks to get around to remembering to buy it, Proving the sleep deprivation/memory connection.

rain said...

Oh sister, I feel your pain. I have not slept well for 20 years. I no longer even try. If I can't sleep I do something else, read, whatever. My coffee pot goes on at 4:30 am as I am seldom sleeping past 5:00. I consider waking up at 6:00, "sleeping in". What has been life changing for me is stopping the "fight" to sleep. Now I accept my insomnia and somehow it is so much easier.

Belladonna said...

I GET to sleep just fine. But I don't stay there. I chronically wake up at anywhere from 3:30 to 5:30 AM even when I have no plans for the day and once my brain starts racing there's no chance of going back to sleep. Sigh.

I've heard it said that sleep deprivation is also associated with weight gain. But I'm not sure if it's the chicken or the egg. I'm deliberately working at dropping some pounds - 25 off so far and another 25 to go. I'm curious to if that will have any impact on my sleeping...

But mostly I go with Rain - try to accept that it is what it is and just go do something else.

Pauline said...

I'd settle for six solid hours of sleep but ten? I haven't slept ten hours since I was a teenager!

The Time article was interesting. I'm not average unless you discount the stats:)

Ruth D~ said...

Pauline~ I said I'd like to sleep until 10. Unfortunately, that won't get me 10 hours of sleep. I stay up too late. :>)

Bella~ The sleep loss weight gain link . . . I think I'm living proof.