Retiring Boomers face a world with fewer parameters, so my question is, what happened to sleep? Research deems restorative sleep, cycling through all five waves of the sleep cycle, as essential for brain health. And that’s the big cheese we’re talking about here! Make way dementia, because sleep’s gonna’ kick your butt!
According to the REST (Retirement and Sleep Trajectories) study, Boomers go to sleep about 30 minutes later each night post retirement. Their wake times increase by 60 minutes. In other words, the Boomers’ golden years, on average, appear to be restful.
So why are they napping so much? Admit it. You know an aging parent who naps off and on all day long. Or you’re looking at a retired spouse napping through a program on TV. Being a Boomer and married to a Boomer, and being part of the burgeoning Boomer population, I know things. Uncorrected napping threatens to become a Boomer national pastime. Let’s rule out sleep disorders and chronic diseases. SeniorHealth365.com sums it up in one word. Ever watch Never Cry Wolf? My favorite line, “Boredom, Tyler, boredom!” That’s right. Too many Boomers lack meaningful engagement.
In a world crying out for help, opportunities abound. First and foremost, find a side gig. Your wallet will thank you. Then start with service to your family, neighborhood, or circle of friends. And finally, look at our dysjunctive, dysfunctional, disturbed-bordering-on-pathological world, and fix something. Every week our home rocks with minions who need our love and attention. They take a lot of time, sap our energy, leave messes in their wake, and we love it! I immerse myself in a side gig that lends income as well as a lot of pleasure and influence in the lives of others. Find that purpose in your world and in return, earn a solid 8. You’ll rest better, I promise.