Last Friday, Dr. Bill Thomas, The TGB Geriatrician, wrote about age-related changes in sleep patterns, dividing them into medical disorders, which can be treated, and normal changes that are merely annoying.
Who knew there is a name for what I’m tired of living with - "Phase Advance" which, according to Dr. Thomas, is the
“…fancy medical term for the experience of going to bed earlier in the evening and waking up earlier in the morning. The sleep phase advances as we age. Many older people fall asleep early in the evening, yet awaken much earlier than desired in the morning and cannot fall back to sleep easily.”
It doesn’t matter what I’m doing in the evening after about 6PM; if I’m not on my feet moving around, I fall asleep. Where once I woke at 4:30-5:30AM – an excellent time of day to awaken - it’s been backing up in the past few months to 3AM and on some occasions, 2AM-2:30AM without a chance of going back to sleep. It’s not often yet, but it’s creeping in that direction and of course, the earlier I fall asleep, the earlier I wake.
If this continues, before long I’ll be “phase advancing” to awake in the dark and asleep in the day and I’ll never see the sun again.
The only upside I can see to this is that I can exchange “live” email with Claude of Blogging in Paris, Nikki of Nikki’s Place and Lia of Yum Yum Cafe who live in France, Sweden and Germany respectively and for whom it is normal morning hours when I first sit down at the computer. Forgive me, ladies, but I’d forgo that for more regular hours.
Am I alone in this? Has anyone got a solution?
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Claire Jean recalls the pleasure of times past at the beach in The Jersey Shore.]