(Whomever it is that originated this stinking hilarious picture and quote, thank you!)
The glass half empty view on sleep and age:
When you are a child, you don’t want to sleep. When you are a parent, you could if you would, and you want to, but there are the kids. When you are fortunate enough to grow old, you want to, don’t have kids, but can’t.
The National Sleep Foundation Recommends:
Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13) School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11) Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category) Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours. Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
Should-a, could-a, would-a, right?
“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.”
One thing that gets left out of most sleep books (um, did I include it in my book??) and sleep talks, is how to be awake. Because, the opposite of sleep is not just slogging around in a haze. It is alertness, attention, and memory.
Sort of abandon sleep hygiene for a while. Give yourself a break from the disappointment. And then be firm on the effort of daytime alertness.
Practically, all of this means reading, writing, talking, and moving. No nap unless before noon. The body requires all these to be alert. And vice-versa for alertness.
This is where I additionally bring in the concept of a stimulating medication such as Modafinil. Don’t confuse this with taking caffeine. Caffeine is metabolized way to fast to be helpful in this regard. There are others one may discuss with their treatment provider.
Self-care tip: Get awake, really awake, during the day to sleep well at night.