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JIM ‘PAPPY’ MOORE: Snooze or Lose

By Jim “Pappy” Moore

Somewhere back in our history we heard “if you snooze, you lose.” It was an exhortation to keep your nose to the grindstone, to burn the midnight oil, to stay up late and get up early. Naps? Forget naps.
Reality: if you don’t snooze well, you lose. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, but generally speaking eight hours of sleep out of every twenty-four cycle is a wise plan. Sleeping only an average of seven hours or less can leave you tired and not clicking on all cylinders. Sleeping an average of nine hours every twenty-four hours can leave you less than sharp, even groggy.

What works for one person may not work for another. There are times I can sleep for seven to nine hours during the traditional time slot for sleeping – from 11 p.m. to around 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. My preference is to sleep around four to six hours during my primary sleep, and to supplement that with naps as the mood hits me. My best sleep comes from naps. When I sleep only when I’m sleepy, I don’t worry. I don’t think about things happening in my life or in the world. I lie down when sleepy and sleep easily. Sometimes I nap for an hour. Sometimes two hours. Sometimes three.

I try to give myself the best chance to sleep without interruption. For napping, I sleep in my bedroom without any phone or other device to awaken me. Phone calls, texts, etc. can all wait. My sleep is more important. Of course, when sleeping at night I keep my cellphone about 3-4 feet away.

If I lie down at night and do not immediately go to sleep, I get up and do something. I might write. I might read. I might clean. I invest that awake time rather than toss and turn. There’s always something to do. I am never bored.

When you have the ability to sleep whenever you want to sleep, as many of us in retirement now have the opportunity to do, you can make sleeping a real priority. Your health starts with your sleep. More than ever those of us retirement age need to give our body its best possible chance to heal itself, to avoid stressing ourselves, to allow our immune system and our gastric system to perform at its best for us.
Good sleep gives your body time to rest and recuperate. Make quality sleep your priority.

When you are rested but not over-rested, your mind and body should be ready for your peak performance. As we age, we must budget our time wisely and avoid overdoing things. Those days of working long hours or of working super hard projects until we are exhausted are mostly behind us. We have to be mindful or we will wake up with a tortured back or gimpy knee in revolt over excessive use.

I generally move about at a fast pace, but I never get in a hurry about anything. Getting hurried is a prescription for failure. You can’t take it. Your body can’t take it. Slow down. Steady yourself. Get plenty of quality rest. Eat sensibly. Eat smaller portions. Exercise but don’t overdo it.

Remember the tale about the rabbit and turtle. We are older. We have to be turtles, not rabbits. Rest. Relax. Reinvigorate.

Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.

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