Deep Sleep: Sleep and Age

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Each Thursday in March, Alice Park, Time Magazine staff writer who covers health and medicine, talks about sleep. Today: sleep and age.

How has aging affected your sleep?

Comments [13]

Vijay from NJ

There was a young lady -- a student called Dianne, I think -- who called in about the pressures she is under and how it is affecting her sleep. She should really try yoga, both to handle her pressure and to get better sleep. 60-90 minutes invested in yoga a few times a week will pay back with improved efficiency, better sleep, health and quality of life.

Mar. 23 2012 12:39 AM

I was unable to complete my comment on the air (but grateful for the opportunity to bring up Ferber). I think Ferber has done the greatest disservice to babies and parents. Until the advent of the middle class and the prosperity enabling multi room homes, children ALWAYS slept with thier parents, having the security of thier closeness, the comfort of heartbeat, the rhythm of breathing.
Ferbers' method creates stress, anxiety, guilt (especially for Mothers)and from personal experience, a child who has difficulty falling into restful sleep even 24 years later. Luckily for my other children, there was a wonderful report on ABC on the family bed before they were born. Young parents are so desperate to do the right thing for thier kids, but are also susceptible to bad ideas. I see no benefit from Ferbers method, only resultant damage. Only a man could come up with the concept that comfort deprivation is something that should be implemented to "train" of all things, a baby. This ideology should be exposed as a soul and trust crushing practise.

Mar. 22 2012 11:42 AM

If creativity is enhanced with time and a relax attitude, then Tests that create a stressful environment are actually counterintuitive and don't measure all types of intelligence.

Mar. 22 2012 11:23 AM
Lin from NYC

I would like to recommend in addition, The Courage to Create, by Rollo May,
written about 35 years ago. He discussed this topic and artists etc and sleep. I still use
some of his suggested exercises.---very interesting and helpful book.

Mar. 22 2012 11:22 AM
Lou from Brooklyn

Meridith Small's book ? our babies ourselves? i think was something like the title.
She studied aborigine -hunter/gatherer tribes & came to the conclusion that in our 'natural' state, humans tend to sleep in 3-4 hr cycles then are awake for 3-4 hrs, no one slept throughout the night. This totally helped me when my 15 yr old was an infant, he arrived prepared for a Stone-age world... not our society. Today he totally sleeps, & sleeps & ... still get up & do things for an hr or 2.

Mar. 22 2012 11:03 AM
John A.

Best sleep I ever had was when I worked physical labor for a summer. Slept sundown to sunup. People who tell you to exercise for at least 45 minutes a day - they're helping you with your sleep too.

Mar. 22 2012 11:02 AM
alison from manhattan

Forget Ferber for kids you all must read this expert!!!
Kids Sleep Training With Dr. Marc Weissbluth

30 Days to Getting Your Kid to Sleep!

Make sure you nap your kids! And pay close attenetion to good sleep habits - I did and my kids today are well balanced do well in school and sleep at least 10 hours per night - they are 14 and 10!!

Mar. 22 2012 11:00 AM
dandelionne from NY

I am 63, and sometimes wake up around 4 in the morning, with trouble going back to sleep, some days it is difficult to just go to sleep.
It helps me a lot to sit up, cross-legged before going to sleep or if I wake up, and meditate, just breathing quietly. My breathing gets deeper, I feel calmer within a few minutes, and I am quickly able to go back to sleep and tend to sleep through better afterward.

Mar. 22 2012 10:59 AM
David from Long Island City

BBC News has interesting article raising the point that a continuous 8 hours of sleep may not be ideal.

Mar. 22 2012 10:59 AM

I'm 27 and wake up very early for my job at a landscaping company. In the past 3 months, my husband and I have stopped eating meat entirely, at his suggestion, not mine. In the past, I would wake up after 8 hours and still feel tired, now I wake up with energy to start my day and feel like I can go for a lot longer.

Mar. 22 2012 10:57 AM

I'm sorry, but Alica Park may not be aware that babies in certain parts of Africa sleep an hour less a night than US children and NEVER cry. Much of the literature on infant sleep is deeply flawed because it is self-reported by parents. James McKenna has done studies on mothers and found they underreported the number of times infants wake up to feed by 50% and overreported the LENGTH of time they were up feeding babies. The latest research done with wrist monitors on parents completely debunks the notion that infants sleep longer by drinking formula at night. Babies who had even one bottle of formula had parents who slept 45 minutes LESS per night than parents whose babies breastfed exclusively. It is probably that the oxytocin from breastfeeding helps babies and parents get the deeper more restorative sleep and indigestion from formula is leading some babies to wake up.

Mar. 22 2012 10:56 AM
Ash in Chelsea

At 72, I find that no matter what time I go to sleep, I only sleep about 3 or 4 hours. Then I cannot go back to sleep for about 3 or 4 hours. Then I go back to sleep for 3 or 4 hours before starting my day (like now, between 10 and 11). I do not nap or get sleepy during the day. Is this normal?

Mar. 22 2012 10:52 AM
Ms. Wallis Cooper from Westchester, NY

I'm 70 and until about 5 years ago always slept deeply 8 hours a night. Now I awaken after almost axactly 4 hours for a few minutes, or sometimes , if I can't fall back to sleep, I read for an hour or so and then sleep for another almost exactly 3 hours. My qustion, which I don't think has been answered yet is: since I learned about a year ago of the health dangers of not sleeping enough I have become concerned that 4 and 3 is not 7.

Mar. 22 2012 10:10 AM

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