Maybe it’s the anxiety of waiting for a vaccination or just the general angst of waiting out a pandemic, but either way, I’m ready to try some Sominex (doubtful they still make it). If you’re old enough, you might remember their jingle. “Take Sominex tonight and sleep. Safe and restful, sleep, sleep, sleep.” That little ditty is still effective. You almost want to lay your head down and take a nap after listening to it.
The more serious issue is what baby boomers may be doing to themselves to get some quality sleep. There are warnings that alcohol consumption is way up and it stands to reason that various sleep aids such as ZzzQuil, Luna and Nytol are experiencing a big bump in sales. Likewise, CBD products are getting very popular for the supposed benefit of reduced anxiety.
I suppose you’ve heard that we should be getting 7 hours of sleep a night. Who was getting 7 hours even before the pandemic? Six is good, hell, I would take 5. The creepy aspect of this sleep deprivation is that we really don’t know how much sleep we’re getting. Looking at the clock over and over throughout the night does not prove that you were not sleeping in between time checks. How many times have you heard yourself say, “I didn’t sleep at all last night.” If it were really true, you would be in a zombie apocalypse movie by now.
Is this sleep deprivation issue really about the pandemic or is it a natural consequence of getting older? The National Sleep Foundation found that 35 percent of Americans report their sleep quality as poor or fair. Boomers spend less time in deeper stages of sleep and our circadian rhythms change, causing us to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. Their advice is to shoot for the same bedtime and wake-up. No TV or electronic devices (that’s going to be tough); no eating within 3 hours of bedtime; no caffeine after 3 p.m.; and don’t stay in bed if you are not sleeping.
All this talk about sleep is making me drowsy. Oh yeah, they also recommend naps be limited to 20-30 minutes. See you in my dreams.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.