This article in the New York Times is from a while back, but it is still an interesting read. It nails what happens to most of us as we get older: we have more trouble getting and staying asleep. That is even true of retired people. The author, Eric Nagourney, puts it this way:
As baby boomers age, many may find that a basic act they once took for granted (or intentionally neglected) has become a lot more complicated. They are finding it harder to get to sleep or stay asleep, and they may feel the consequences during the day.
In other words, our daily activities start to bleed more and more into the time we are supposed to spend sleeping. But the article also quotes Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, a director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center, as saying”
“Healthy aging is not necessarily associated with poor sleep. Some people have this sense that ‘Oh, I’m just going to sleep badly when I get older, because that’s what happens to everybody.’”
People don’t develop the inability to get to sleep and stay there because they have heard that that’s what happens as you age. Insomnia in older people isn’t a result of suggestion. It is hard to believe a sleep professional would say that, but he did. The problem results from the increased pressure of everyday life intruding on psychic space.
In Pursuit of Sleep addresses these issues and provides a method for overcoming these emotional pressures that intrude on our sleep time. Believe it or not, this is not a difficult problem to solve. You just have to take control of your mind and lead it through the minefield that is hypnagogia, the transition state between being awake and being asleep. Here’s a hint: It has to do with mental images and the Transition Trek.