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jca2's avatar

How did your sleep patterns change as you got older?

Asked by jca2 (12659points) 1 month ago

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I needed at least 7 hours of sleep, preferably 8. Once I got to my 40s, I started waking up in the middle of the night, often for hours, and then falling back to sleep around the time I was supposed to wake up for work. I was going to work on 3 and 4 hours of sleep a night, and now I don’t know how I did it. I think I was chronically exhausted and just didn’t realize it.

Now in my 50s I am no longer working and I am sleeping better, more relaxed. Usually I sleep straight through, but I am ok with six or seven hours of sleep.

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14 Answers

filmfann's avatar

In my teens, I could sleep 14 hours straight.
When I hit 23, I developed insomnia. I didn’t sleep at all for 3 straight months. I still struggle to sleep.

JLeslie's avatar

In my teens and through my 30’s I needed nine hours of sleep. If I didn’t get it I made up for it with a nap that day or an extended overnight sleep within a few days.

In my 40’s my sleep became more erratic, partly due to my thyroid going whackadoo and difficult to stabilize. If I was over medicated I had very disrupted sleep and only slept maybe six hours in a 24 hour period. Under-medicated I could sleep ten hours. Aside from that mess, even when my thyroid seems ok, I go through jags where I wake up in the middle of the night for a few days or weeks, and then go back to sleeping through the night.

In my 50’s I’ve started to wake up more to have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. That’s very unusual for me. I think it might be because I cut down on salt. I think I need 6–8 hours of sleep now. I’m not sure. I’ll start paying attention again.

I’ve always been willing to nap. Some people resist it. I believe in sleeping when you need it. Being exhausted often led to me getting sick, and I hate getting sick. I’ve never been rigid or on a very specific schedule for sleep.

flutherother's avatar

The main change is that I often wake up around 3.00 or 4.00 in the morning and it can take me an hour to get back to sleep. That never used to happen.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Once I got a CPAP I fall asleep fast and stay asleep. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and find it hard to sleep. It’s not older age doing this, it’s sleep apnea which tends to get worse as we age.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ve always been a good sleeper but when I’m very stressed, it’s difficult.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

They are ideal now. None screaming at me to wake up. A fulfilment of what I always wanted. To eat when I am hungry and to rest when I am tired.

canidmajor's avatar

I have always been a very poor sleeper, and it gets worse with age. I sleep now in 2 hour increments, but I seem to cope okay. I literally require anesthesia to sleep through the night.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve always slept well.
In my 20s, when I toddlers and a daycare, and went to college 3 days a week, and played volleyball 2 days a week, I had 0 problems falling asleep. In fact, I’d fall asleep at random times.

cookieman's avatar

Teens and Early Twenties…I slept poorly. Woke up in the middle of the night or couldn’t fall asleep at all because of anxiety, racing mind, stress. Not great.

Late Twenties to Late Thirties…I had a ton of energy and could stay up late (2–3AM) working on projects and still get up early for work.

All of Forties…I went back to almost constant anxiety and interrupted, stress-filled sleep.

Just Recently (past year or so)…I’ve been sleeping like a rock. In bed by 8–9PM, up at 7AM. Deep sleep, lots of dreams and snoring.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My grandfather said we need less sleep as we age, but thus far I haven’t experienced that. He was like @canidmajor and only slept a couple hours at a time once he retired.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used to fall asleep the minute I went to bed, but now I don’t.

raum's avatar

As a teenager, I could easily sleep in until noon.

In my twenties, insomnia hit. Would be up all night working in studio. Sometimes up with some manic project. But easily ran on a few hours of sleep. Would take a quick 5min snooze between class and feel refreshed.

Still have crazy insomnia. But really feel the lack of sleep the next day. And cannot take a short refreshing nap. Usually wake up feeling more tired.

I actually spoke with my doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea. :/

Kardamom's avatar

I’ve had insomnia for about 15 years, so I sleep very poorly. Before that, I never did.

Forever_Free's avatar

My sleep patterns didn’t change because of age. They change based on my lifestyle.
When I work hard, play hard, I sleep like a baby in a bassinet.
When I party like it’s 1999, I sleep erratically.

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