According to my beloved Fitbit my average sleep last week dipped below the all-important minimum target of six hours. Meanwhile Mrs Jones seems to be averaging nine or more. At around 8pm most evenings we’ll settle down to watch something on TV and some 30 minutes later she’s knocking out the Zs.
|Measures||Targets||wc Jan 6||Result|
|Active minutes||600||804||+ 204|
|Sleep||6 hours 30 mins||5.57||– 33|
|Overweight||11st 13lb||12 st 2lb||+ 3lb|
A couple of hours later we’ll go to bed and she’s out like a light while I’m struggling to get some shut-eye. My mind is abuzz with thoughts and I often lie awake for an hour or more before having to get up and sit quietly downstairs for a while. This often does the trick when I go back to bed.
Most of my other fitness goals are moving in the right direction – steps up, active minutes up, resting heart rate down but my sleeping time is getting worse.
I’m doing many of the sleep-inducing things experts tell us to do – the bedroom is dark and cool and only used for what a bedroom should be, my iPhone and other devices charge up in another room and we have reasonably regular bedtimes. None of it’s working though, help!
According to the NHS, one in three of us suffer from poor sleep with anything below six hours – with eight being ideal – putting us at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Sleeps also boosts immunity and mental wellbeing, helps you slim, increases your fertility – not that I’m bothered with that! – and your sex drive. Worrying about the affects of not sleeping is enough to keep you awake at night.
Worse still with ageing, sleep patterns tend to change causing people of my age or older to have a harder time falling asleep, though no-one’s telling Mrs Jones this. We awaken more often during the night and earlier in the morning. When we eventually do get to asleep the transition between sleep and waking up is often abrupt, making us feel like a lighter sleeper than when they were younger.
We also spend less time in deep, dreamless sleep and wake up an average of three or four times each night. This is partly because our sleep is less deep but other causes include needing to get up and urinate, anxiety and discomfort or pain from long-term illnesses. At least all this tells me what’s happening to me is that unusual.
I’ve mentioned my recent sleep woes to a few people in the last few days and without fail all of them have said things like ‘I sleep like a log but my wife’s just the opposite’.
It’s making me wonder whether there is some bizarre inverse relationship between the sleep of one partner and the other. The more I’m awake, the more my wife sleeps, maybe it’s her fault and she’s stealing my sleep. This new theory of mine needs to be investigated now!