Sleepless Middle-aged Men Struggling to Wake Up!

Benjamin Franklin said; “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. That’s all very well for guys who can drift off the second their head hits the pillow, but there are millions of other middle-aged men who can only DAYdream about blissful sleep.

Man with InsomniaThe all too Common Sleep Irregularities

Some men have such sporadic sleep patterns that they find themselves wide awake when they should be fast akip, and fast asleep when they should be wide awake, the latter often causing issues in the workplace.

Should you ever get caught napping on the job, you might want to try gradually lifting your head while uttering the words; “In Jesus name, Amen.” Sneaky, but effective!!!

The Sleepless Society

Those with long-term insomnia have likely tried just about anything and everything to cure their condition over the years. A number of these men would have succeeded, others gotten some relief, and a few will have seen no progress at all, despite their best efforts.

One insomniac wrote in a health forum that he felt like having his clothes made out of blankets so he could wake up feeling a little normalcy from time to time! It’s good these guys can joke occasionally as the only other alternatives are tears or irritability.



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The Definition of Insomnia as Outlined by NIH (National Institutes of Health):

Insomnia: Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. The result is getting either too little sleep or poor-quality sleep. Insomniacs do not usually feel refreshed when they wake up”.

The Alcoholic Solution is a Problem!

A lot of male problematic sleepers turn to booze as a way of getting some kip, but be warned; the low quality of sleep, and the physical harm done by drinking too much over an extended period of time is not a long term solution for any sleep disorder. Some joke that whiskey no longer helps with their insomnia, but it makes staying awake a lot more enjoyable. Seriously though, drinking until you pass out is NOT the answer.

Sleep bubbleThe 3 most Common forms of Sleeplessness

  1. Unable to get to sleep at bedtime
  2. Wake up long before it’s time but unable to get back off
  3. A combination of 1 & 2

Most common is where the man lays awake half the night waiting to nod off – but can’t! Needless to say, when he does eventually drift away, it’s never too long before he has to wake up again and go about his day – exhausted and tetchy!

The other problem is when a man falls asleep effortlessly, but then awakes hours before it’s time to get up. And because he’s unable to get back to sleep, he too has to go about his business restive, grouchy, and miserable, which is an awful way to live day in, day out.

A sleepless man may well be a nice guy, but more often than not comes across as an unlikable individual solely because he’s constantly shattered. So insomnia is a condition that negatively affects the quality of his relationships as well as his state of mind.

The Worst of Both Worlds!

The extreme case is when a man has trouble dozing off (type 1), yet when he does eventually fall asleep, he then wakes up long before he’s due to get up (type 2). Such sleep deprivation is demoralising and debilitating to say the least.

These men are usually unable to hold down a job for long, or certainly not one that requires great levels of expertise or concentration. He’ll catnap whenever and wherever he can. This is the kind of man that has to sleep in the Kitchen if he wants to experience breakfast in bed.

Wrong Advice could be Bad for your Health!

Man gives adviceThe best advice an insomniac can heed is to never take advice about sleeplessness from people who have never had problems with sleeplessness! They’re almost certainly very well meaning, but unless they have first-hand experience, the chances are their lips get more exercise than you get practical guidance.

If you need help, seek the advice of an expert!

Long-term sleeplessness is far too complicated to generalise, and the reasons varied, although the top 3 causes of insomnia are probably triggered by stress, anxiety, and depression.

Whatever the cause, this is one health problem that is best looked at by a professional somnologist (someone who diagnoses and treats sleep disorders and irregularities). We’ve added links to 5 useful resources at the end of this post from sites with authority on sleep disorders, causes and the various treatments.

So being constantly tired can greatly affect the way a man feels and functions during his waking hours. Needless to say those that have suffered lifelong lethargy continue to underachieve in many areas of their life until they find a solution, or at least a compromise of sorts, for their disorder.

Laughter symbolLaughter is the Tranquillizer with no Side Effects.

The Irish have always said that a ruddy good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book, and they’re right. But those who can’t sleep really have very little to laugh about. A brain that only works at half throttle means the sleepy one is missing out on so much of life.

“Remember, men need laughter sometimes more than food”. ~ Anna Fellows Johnston

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. ~ W.C. Fields

If you’re a guy of middle age and just starting to experience problems with sleep, or if you’re having infrequent bouts of insomnia, then you might want to try some of the self-help methods below before seeking professional help.

  • Get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time daily.
  • Don’t eat any food 2 to 3 hours prior to bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine after dinner and steer clear of alcohol over the limit of a nightcap.
  • Try not to oversleep as this can trigger restlessness.
  • Get regular exercise (preferably mornings to mid-afternoon at the latest).
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, etc.
  • Turn your bedroom into a calm and uncluttered environment.

If all else fails and your insomnia seems to be getting worse instead of better, seek the advice of a doctor before it becomes a full-time problem. The links below are hand picked by 50ish.org as useful resources on all matters relating to sleep disorders.

Got something to say on the topic of insomnia? Please leave your comments below.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of 50ish.org, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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