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How long to adjust your sleep patterns?
Old 06-14-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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How long to adjust your sleep patterns?

I am not retired yet, soon but not yet. But my wife and I both work from home now most of the week but we do have to go in a couple days and thus haven't modified our wake up time.

I have gotten up at 4:15 am for the last 15 years. Now that I work from home I still get up then and hit the gym first thing in the morning, and then come home to work. My wife wanted to do that so she could start work at like 6:30 and finish by 3:30 or so.

I broached the subject awhile back about what time we would be getting up AFTER we retired and luckily her response was in tune with what I was anticipating. 8ish at the gym. Which is good as I would much prefer to stay up later but you know getting up at 4:45 makes a late night tough!

For those of you who are retired and used to get up early, did you adjust your wake up time AFTER you retired? And if so, how long did it take to make the adjustment? The reason I ask is that I have no reason to get up early on Saturday or Sunday but if I sleep until 6am I feel like I slept in! I want to sleep in until 7 or 8 and easily do that so I can stay up until 11 or 12 the night before

So was it a tough adjustment?
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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I've been getting up early all my life (mostly unwillingly) so for me sleeping in 'til 6-ish is as good as it gets. What changed for me were two things. First, I don't wake up stressed, anxious, focused. Second, my morning is relaxed with coffee, newspapers, lots of morning reading. The adjustment took a couple of months, and I hope it lasts forever.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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I am not a morning person so this is not an issue for me.

However, DH when working got up about the same time you get up. He has been retired 3 years. He gradually started sleeping a little later in the morning and staying up a little later at night. Basically he doesn't set an alarm clock unless he has something specific to do and has gotten to where he typically gets up between 6 and 7, occasionally earlier or later. He could probably try to force it to sleep an hour or so later but has no reason to really do it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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I was up by ~5am most of my working life so I could beat the traffic to town. The last few years I worked from home most of the time but I was in the habit of getting up so early all those years I was still up and "on-line" well before 6am. I guess I was surprised but when I retired it didn't take long and I was sleeping in until ~7:30 each day.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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I get up about a half hour later each morning at around 5:30. I get up and get my grumpiness (and coffee) out of the way before the kids and DW get up.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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It took very little time for me to adjust from a 5:30 get up to 7:30-ish. Now I enjoy staying up to 11pm or later, whereas I always needed to be in bed by 10 when working.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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When I worked, I would get up around 5:30am. Most of the time, I'd wake up before the alarm went off. Been retired about 7 months and can count on one hand the number of times I got up before 7am. Am learning I'm not as much of a morning person as I thought. And also stay up later, so my total sleep time is about the same, but is probably a little more now. One amazing simple pleasure is waking up around 6am and drifting back to sleep!
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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I got up at 5:00 AM for most of my working career, didn't even need an alarm clock. I've been retired for 1.5 months and the best I can do is 6:00 to 6:30. Maybe it gets better with more time in retirement.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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Prior to retiring I used to wake up around 6:30 in order to make it to the office by 8:00. Typically I would stay up til about 11:00 or so.
But my normal waking hours are somewhat later. Since retiring I stay up til about 1:00 (love to catch Craig Ferguson's monologue) then get up around 8:30.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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This is all AWESOME news. I would much prefer to do a 7 or 8 am wakeup and stay up until midnight or 1. I have always gotten by on 5-6 hours of sleep--but I want to shift that to a little later.

Good to know it happens, at least for most people.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Maybe it gets better with more time in retirement.
At the 8 year point, and no sign of improvement yet...
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
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Maybe it gets better with more time in retirement.
Even if it doesn't, so many other things do get better in retirement you might not even notice.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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Even if it doesn't, so many other things do get better in retirement you might not even notice.
+1

I don't mind waking up early - so much to look forward to every day!
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:16 PM   #14
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This topic covers one of the most difficult endeavors of my retirement, establishing a good sleep pattern! When working, I always set my alarm for 5:30 AM and was sitting at my desk at work by 6:00 AM. I thought I was a "morning person".

When I retired, I was dismayed to find out that I really don't know what I am.. "morning person" or "night person".

My first full day of retirement, I was up by about 4 AM instead of 5:30. I was too excited to sleep. Then I started sleeping later and later. It took me a few months before I was sleeping to 10 or 11 or even 12. I really don't like doing that, though! I love mornings and felt sad that I was missing them all.

I feel like I need to sleep the same hours every day, and live a regular life, in order to get the best out of life. That may not be true for everyone but it is for me. So, after about 3 years of retirement and erratic sleep patterns that just WOULD not resolve, I bought an alarm clock that would play gentle birdsongs to lift me gently out of sleep. That seems to work some of the time. Still, out of the blue, I will resent having to go to bed one night and stay up until 5 AM like a rebellious kid. Then I refuse to set the alarm, and sleep late. Believe me, it can be pretty tough to establish regular sleep habits in your early 60's when you have never had any choice in the matter before!

Four years from retirement, despite my best efforts I don't really have it figured out. I don't have a regular bedtime or time to get up. I do look most kindly upon going to bed at 1 AM and awakening at 8:30, so that is probably the answer to my "day person or night person" dilemma. But, I don't sleep those hours as regularly as I might wish.

Now, if you have a spouse or pets, sleeping late may never be an option.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:17 AM   #15
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Before retiring, I was usually up before 5am. Since retiring (5+ years), I get up around daylight for a run/walk with my pup everyday. Since sunrise varies considerably throughout the year, so does the time that I am out of bed in the morning (from around 5:30 to 7:00). The early morning hours are the best of the day - cool, quiet, great time for coffee on the deck/porch/sunroom overlooking the lake after our run. If you are retired, why worry about the clock when it is more natural to wake with the sun. I had no problem at all adjusting to this routine.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:42 AM   #16
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Two years retired, and I still wake up and go to sleep at the same time as I did when I was working.

My Dad has been retired for 31 years, and he still has the same sleep patterns he had when he was working.

So for some at least, some things never change...

I guess if I really wanted to change my sleep patterns, I could change my evening routine to stay up later, and presumably I'd sleep later in the morning in time. But since I really don't care about changing, I haven't tried it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:51 AM   #17
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It's been almost two months, and I'm starting to sleep better. The first month was bad, up at 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30,till I finally got up feeling bad most of the day.

Part was I hadn't really decided what time I wanted to target, rest of my problems were bad sleep habits.

Someone suggested a little melatonin for a few days, that has helped. Don't think I'll keep taking any more, but don't think I need to.

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Old 06-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #18
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After 2 1/2 yrs ER I still get up at the same time. The dogs start scratching at the door asking for breakfast between 5:30am - 6:00am. On the rare occasions they sleep longer I still get up around 6:00am without an alarm.

I used to go to bed around 11pm. Now it is midnight. The only thing that has changed in ER is that I can take an afternoon nap. I never took naps before and can still feel OK if I don't have the nap. But it's a nice change anyway. It reminds me that I don't have an impending commitment.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:45 PM   #19
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During the last ~10 yrs of work, I was awake by 7:30 AM and at my desk by 8:30 AM.
Since retiring (5 1/2 years), I have noticed (as Lakedog mentioned) that I have started to sync up with the sun.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:18 PM   #20
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I find myself staying up later in ER, but not necessarily sleeping in later in the morning. My wake up time is pretty random. If anything I am surprised at how early I naturally wake up now, even though I don't have to wake up to anything in particular.
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