40-Somethings - Honest: How much sleep do you get?

08-12-2008, 11:24 PM
Okay, in my quest to try to conquer my bad habits that have contributed to my weight gain, I have come across a lot of research that supports the conclusion that a lack of sleep can be a real issue. I know I am guilty of not sleeping enough, and that I seem to get worse about it as time goes by....okay...I'm lousy about this. I know how often I have told my kids they need to sleep for their bodies to work right...yet, here I remain a sleep deprived hypocrite. I am really going to try to tackle this one. (Which won't be easy...so many demands, so little time.)

Just curious...Is anyone else guilty of this one too?

And on that note...oh, look at the time. Guess I should start getting ready for bed. ;)

net knee
08-13-2008, 12:23 AM
I have the opposite problem... i sleep TOO MUCH! I have depression and my medicine doesn't work as well as it use to. I am not functional if I don't get at least 10 hours of sleep. Also I'm home all the time so I nap a lot. I am out of work on medical leave and have no reason to go to bed early or get up early either. I'm not sure if too much sleep hurts weight loss or not but I know it's not good to eat and then lay down within a half hour and it usually ends up that way for me... I'm trying to break this habit but after gall bladder surgery (removal) when I eat I get physically ill and need to lay down because I get terrible stomach pains and feel like I'm going to throw up. Doc said it will go away but it's been 7 months... no improvement yet... oh well Still holding on to hope

08-13-2008, 01:09 AM
I sleep on average for 8-9 hrs nightly. On weekends a little more. I'm a night owl so I often have to force myself to go to bed at a decent time. I do have trouble falling asleep though- I toss and turn for about 45 mins, thank God my boyfriend is so patient and laid back.

On that note, g'night :p :yawn:

08-13-2008, 08:54 AM
For me, it varies depending on what life throws at me. Anywhere from 6-9 hours. I'm sure I should be sleeping more. Last night, for example, I went to bed around 11:30, and woke up at 5:30 to go to the bathroom. Knowing that my son had to be up and out early and that I really only had an hour more to sleep, I spent that last hour dozing off and on (not really sleeping deeply). I was up at 6:30, feeling droopy. If I'm lucky, I'll catch a quick snooze after lunch for 20 min. or so. Does the study say the sleep has to be in one session? Do naps count?


08-13-2008, 09:49 AM
I'm pretty consistent about being in bed for about 8 hours. But then it depends on how active my mind is and how much I'm worried about anything. Then, I might lay there for awhile. Also, if I wake up early, I find it very difficult to get back to sleep. I just try to make it a habit to go to bed around the same time every night... right after the news, weather and sports!

08-13-2008, 10:25 AM
5-6 hours a night, tops, even on the weekends. I find that on the very rare occasions I sleep 7 hours, I feel awful, very sluggish, and I'll have dark circles under my eyes. I almost never nap during the day unless I'm sick (I work full time, so it's not like I even have the opportunity to nap!). I usually have no trouble falling asleep or waking up (I beat the clock radio pretty much every morning). I think in theory I could use more sleep...6 hours does seem skimpy.

08-13-2008, 10:41 AM
I'm the same as letsgomets; It takes me about an hour and a half to stop tossing and turning, and I wake up several times throughout the night. I've had dark circles since I was a kid. On really rough nights, I break down and take maybe a 1/4 or rozerum (sleeping pill). Never had any side effects, and since I take such little amounts and so rarely (maybe once every 2 weeks) I think it's okay. My Dr. says it's not nearly as addictive as the other sleeping pills, if at all.

08-13-2008, 11:34 AM
I used to be terrible about getting up in the morning. I could sleep until 10, 11, or worse, even if I went to bed early. Made me feel like crap the rest of the day, but couldn't drag myself out of bed. Sometimes gives me migraines too. And back pain. Too much sleep.

I was pretty surprised a while back when I realized I'm only getting about 7 hours now, and feeling great with it. I get up at 5:15. Always. This takes a little discipline (less and less as time goes on), but is sooooooo worth it. Then I go to bed when I feel like it. Once in a while that's around 9:15, so I know my body will tell me when I need to catch up. Usually it's around 10, maybe 9:45, maybe 10:30. And I've been sleeping better during the night.

On weekends I still get up early, but I don't set an alarm. If I got up as soon as I woke up I'd still be up very early. But I give myself a *little* leeway, and I'm usually up around 6:30. That honest-to-goodness feels like sleeping in now. I need to move that a little earlier.

I'm really surprised that I need less sleep now. But I *do* need the sleep that I get. I really feel like it's just as important as eating well and being active.

08-13-2008, 12:17 PM
Not enough!About 5 hours or less.

08-13-2008, 02:08 PM
My 17 year old son is home for the summer. What's sleep???

08-13-2008, 04:53 PM
This is a great question.

I'm a teacher, so in the summer, I go to bed later, but still get up pretty early. Not because I need to really, but because I wake up and I'm ready to get up. But, the stress levels are lower and the days are relaxed, so I can deal with life on less sleep.

However, during the school year, which is coming up soon.... Depending on the day... I find I need between 7.5-8.5 hours. It almost isn't even a matter of choice. It's just exhausting work for me. I get up every day at 5:30. Some nights, it's all I can do to take care of my family and the things that need doing so I can go to bed. I can occasionally watch a 9 pm television program, but I'm usually fast asleep before 10.

I do know when I try to deal with less sleep, everything suffers.

Best wishes with trying to get more k8t and everyone else, too.

08-13-2008, 05:38 PM
Is there a connection between sleep and losing weight?

08-13-2008, 05:39 PM
I sleep 7 - 9 hours a night; I can't function on any less than 7 hours of sleep, so that is the minimum.

08-13-2008, 05:46 PM
teecee~ There have been many studies that claim that people who get 5hrs or less sleep a night generally weight more than those that get 7-8hrs a night.

I know for me i sleep 7-10hrs a night. I know 10 hours is a bit much, but i hate mornings and if i dont get at least 8 hrs i am horribly tired and crabby all day. Takes me atleast an hour to fall asleep even if i am dead tired too

ETA~ just wanted to note that im not a 40 something, but i wanted to chime in too

08-13-2008, 05:46 PM
How much? Not enough.

It also depends what time of the month it is. I know my hormones affect my sleep. Some nights I have to get up and go in another room as I am tossing and turning.

I have a 16 year old and I will not go to bed if she is not home. With school starting next week her curfew will be much earlier.

Then there is the nights I have to get up to the loo and if I'm too warm forget it.

So I'd say if I get 6 hours straight I would say it was a good night sleep.

08-15-2008, 09:34 PM
I'm sorry I haven't posted again....life got in the way and I had some things I had to take care of.

On average, I tend to sleep 5-6 hours a night. I know that when I am rested, I naturally get 7 and wake up on my own, refreshed and ready for the day. So I figure that it is what my body likes best and I should shoot for that amount.

I have found several studies that have linked getting insufficient sleep to weight gain. This appears to be for two main reasons...when you have a lack of sleep two different hormone levels are effected. You leptin level drops, which is the hormone that sends the signal to your brain that you are full, and your ghrelin level shoots up significantly, this is the hormone that induces hunger cravings. Translation: You're overtired, your brain says EAT and then doesn't tell you to stop. Can anyone say "Midnight munchies"?

For me, I can also add...and I'm too tired to exercise.

Most of the studies I have read did not mention naps, but one article I read did say they counted towards the total. I would guess that straight through is best, but if you can't do that then naps are better than missing the sleep totally.

I'm also a teacher, but I tend to burn the midnight oil to get my schoolwork done. The more I thought about it after reading these articles and such, the more I realize some of my biggest weight gains have corresponded to this bad habit I have developed of staying up too late and the munching I do when I do it. (and bigger dinners than I should) So, I'm trying to be good now in the sleep department. Either way, I figure it can't hurt to sleep more than I am and it is definitely in keeping with the healthier lifestyle I am trying to create for myself.

08-15-2008, 09:55 PM
Another teacher here too. I used to sleep pretty well, but I found that over the past years as stress levels climbed in the job, entire new curriculums were introduced and were to be taught in full in the first year, and demands became insane..i.e. I am supposed to be able to help a poor teacher program for a Gr. 8 class of 33 with developmentally disabled child, autistic child, bi-polar child, three gifted and 15 LD, hmmm how many um.."average"kids does that leave...oops off topic..

back on topic..my sleep suffered dreadfully. I worried and worried and would get myself so upset it would be dawn, I would throw up and go to work. I now would guess I sleep about six hours...but with several waking periods. Fibro and chronic pain are no help either...sleep disorder is the companion of fibro and it is hard to say which comes first.

I know I should work harder on sleeping more...but it has become such an ordeal, at times I dread even thinking about going to bed. I have read many studies that link sleep deprivation to depression, weight gain, heart disease, earlier onset of cognitive impairment, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome..the list is endless. I have also read all the steps for good "sleep hygiene"...but I think they would drive me nutsier than I already are!:dizzy:

08-15-2008, 10:59 PM
hmmm how many um.."average"kids does that leave...oops off topic..

In my opionion, "Average" is one of the worst myths ever forced on education...

My best friend has Fibro. She has the same problems you are experiencing. So sorry you are going through that.:(

08-15-2008, 11:26 PM
I usually get about 5 hours of sleep. Wish I could get more, because I always feel tired and sluggish. I try to get to sleep earlier but there is always something else that needs to be done and I guess my body is just so used to getting up at 5:30 am because even when I can sleep later I do not. I think my body needs more than 5 and I'll work on that.
Is there any benefit to weight loss with the amount of sleep one gets?

08-16-2008, 12:05 PM
From what I have read, apparently so. Less sleep is supposed to mess with your hormone levels and make you want to eat more and not know when to stop. (See earlier post.)

I have found several places with studies cited....here's one from WebMD.

I don't know if it is true for everyone, but I know my largest weight gains have occured since I started getting less sleep. I gained 5 extra pounds with each of my two pregnancies, but I gained 30 pounds since I started staying up late trying to get everything done.

08-16-2008, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the info. When I think about it I see that I too have had the largest weight gain since getting less sleep. A great reason to really try to get more sleep. Another problem to work on.

Hermit Girl
08-21-2008, 02:05 PM
Just for the record, I've always been an EarlyToBed, EarlyToRise person, averaging 8 to 9 hours per night, and I still have had to struggle with weight !

08-21-2008, 02:08 PM
are we counting naps on the couch?

i go to bed around 10 or 11 and get up during the school year at 4:30....

but most nights i die on the couch from 8-10 (and i'm alseep then too) it's just that the dogs need to go out at 10... so i need to get up for them.

08-21-2008, 03:38 PM
I am new to this site and could not figure out how to start my own post so hopefully this is okay. Hi was reading your posts and since I have been on the Crack the Fat Loss Code I have been sleeping more. Go to bed at 10:30 or 11:00 and wake up at 7. Before I would go to bed at 12:30 or 1:00 and wake up at 7:00. I feel more alert now that I am getting 8 hrs. I always thought I could survive on 5 hrs and that is maybe contributed to my weight gain. I never had a weight problem until I hit 40. I went from a size 9/10 up to a 16 in 5 years. Now I am in a 13/14 and hopefully soon an 11/12. I also found out a had a thyroid problem which contributed to my weight. I started dieting 3 months ago and went from a 216 to 201 or and I am 5' 6". Just started the Crack the Fat Loss Code last week and have lost 4 lbs of the 15 on this plan so far. It's hard but I am determined and sticking to it. I know two other people that have had amazing results with it. But you have to follow it to a T. I am going to Florida in a month and want to lose another 10 lbs at least. From all the posts I have read I think this is the group for me. I am 46 and feeling my age more so and know I need to get the weight off for my health, not to mention my knees. Also I was wondering if someone can walk me through how to get or create that tape measure with your starting weight and goal. Or how to post a picture. I'm not very good with that kind of stuff. I look forward to being a part of this group.

08-21-2008, 09:51 PM
Hello Klmetz, and welcome to the forums!

To post a picture and create the tracker .... Go under "User CP" at the top of your screen. You can find everything you need there.

To add the picture, you will want to go under "Edit Avatar" and then you can either click on one of the ones there or add your own from your computer using "Browse". When you get the one you want, click on "Save Changes" at the bottom of the screen.

You will find what you need for the weight trackers under "Edit Signature". In the top box, there is a message and it says "Click here to get started." Again you will want to save your changes. Changing the weight amounts is easy. All you need to do is go under "Edit Signature" and change the numbers in the script box on the screen.

Hope that helps!

08-21-2008, 09:56 PM
Just for the record, I've always been an EarlyToBed, EarlyToRise person, averaging 8 to 9 hours per night, and I still have had to struggle with weight !

I can definitely see your point...I just know for me, after reading these studies and thinking about it, I realized my biggest increases started when I started sleeping less too. I think the contributing factors to weight gain are different for different people...and that's what makes weight loss such a tricky thing to do.

08-21-2008, 11:26 PM
I probably sleep an average of 6-7 hours a night. I'd love to get 9-10 but that's probably never going to happen.

08-22-2008, 10:01 AM
I get 7-8 hours a night. I'm usually woken 2-4 times a week by one of my kids (aged 3-8, so they are young and it's okay with me). But I just crawl into bed with them and go back to sleep.

08-22-2008, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the info k8t. I just found out I can't get the signature for 15 days since I am a newbee. Oh well. I will just have to update everyone weekly on my progress.


08-22-2008, 07:16 PM
From what I have read, apparently so. Less sleep is supposed to mess with your hormone levels and make you want to eat more and not know when to stop. (See earlier post.)

I have found several places with studies cited....here's one from WebMD.

I don't know if it is true for everyone, but I know my largest weight gains have occured since I started getting less sleep. I gained 5 extra pounds with each of my two pregnancies, but I gained 30 pounds since I started staying up late trying to get everything done.

That's fascinating!! Thanks so much for posting. I gained nearly all of my weight since I had my three kids!! When they were little, naturally I didn't sleep much, and my sleep was very broken up by midnight nursing sessions, or three year olds with bad dreams... Now the kids are older, but I still tend to be a light sleeper, a habit I picked up in those early days of parenthood.

I probably should try to sleep more.


09-30-2008, 11:46 AM
I have suffered from interrupted sleep and other sleep issues for years. I have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, getting back to sleep. My mind just whirls when I wake up to go to the bathroom and I can't get back to sleep.

First, it is my firm conviction that generally, a huge portion of women sleep less as they get older.

Next, some things that work for me. I mix them up, doing one on one night and another the next, and so on:

I hate milk so I take 2 calcium tablets at bedtime. They make you sleepy.

Chamomile tea...they make a new one that also has Valerian in it, I believe. They sell it at Walmart, it's one of the big tea makers.

Valerian, I have used this for a long time. It SMELLS HORRID but I just read another study on AOL about it. It gets better working over time, but also works that night. I LOVE Valerian but have to hold my breath when I take it. I'm no wimp either, this stuff stinks. But it really, really works.

I used to take another vitamin, something you get from being in the sun? I can't think of the name tho. I have read studies that say taking it can be bad for you, so I dumped it from my arsenal. lol

On nights I'm sure I wont sleep well, Benadryl. I take one tab, not two. For some reason I sleep better on one. Weird.

A sound machine on white noise and a fan to keep me cool. I bought EXPENSIVE sheets from Walmart, wow are they soft. I also keep a tablet and pen next to the bed. When I wake up at 3 or 4 am and have stupid stuff in my mind, I write it down. Then I don't have to worry I will forget it if I fall asleep.

Lots of info but maybe it will help someone else.

09-30-2008, 02:16 PM
Hm. For me 4-5 hours a night on average.

But about once a month I'll crash for the weekend and sleep the day away on either Saturday or Sunday.


09-30-2008, 02:34 PM
10:30pm-5:30 am (on workout mornings) 6:30am on normal mornings.

7-8 hours.

10-01-2008, 05:05 PM
It is interesting to read that not sleeping enough can be linked to weight gain, I had no idea but it makes sense.

On average, I probably sleep between 8 to 9 hours, having the odd day when I wake up and crawl right back into bed within half an hour and sleep another 2 or 3 hours (just did it today). I mostly work evenings, so am terrible for letting myself sleep as long as I want during the day, and sitting up half the night. I try to keep a bit of control over it though as sitting up until dawn, then sleeping until 1pm or so leads to me feeling glum and missing out on the day. Actually, I need to start winding my body clock backwards again and, thanks to this thread, I have had the trigger I need to do so!


10-01-2008, 05:24 PM
Myself , I sleep from 11PM to what ever time i wake, 7-8AM most days.

10-01-2008, 06:53 PM
I sleep 6 - 7 hours on a good night, but as I approach the big Change, I find that I have nights where I wake up sweating and can't go back to sleep. I was awake from 4am on this morning. I usually don't get to sleep til 1130 or midnight, so waking up at 3 or 4 makes it hard the next day. I really believe the research on the link to weight gain, if I sleep well I can stay OP so much better!:yawn:

10-01-2008, 07:15 PM
Hm. For me 4-5 hours a night on average.


Holy cow, Photo! Is that by choice or from insomnia? Are you tired? I couldn't function (I would love to be able to do... I could be so productive :).

I have never been a good sleeper and have to do all sorts of hygiene things to sleep decently (ear plugs every night, pitch dark room, TRY to go to be at same time - I don't always do great with this - I often take a benadryl or unisom and I do take the occasional half ambien maybe 4-5 nights a month).

When I do all those things, I feel good on at least 8, but my body loves 9. Unfortunately during the week (school teacher here too), I often get between 6-7, just because I'm so busy. Going to sleep is what's tough for me... I have no problem sleeping in and would LOVE to have a job where I didn't have to rise at 6am!!

I'm tired and groggy a lot... sleep is one of the banes of my life!

10-02-2008, 07:03 PM
I probably fall into the 5-6 hours also. I Try to go to bed at 10:00, but it doesn't always work. I get up at 5:00 to try and fit in 30 minutes of treadmill. I am also a night owl and would love to stay up later. I used to watch Letterman all the time. I had to give it up in order to get up at 5:(

10-03-2008, 04:20 AM
I usually get about 7 hours but almost never sleep all through the night. I have a very very old cat that gets disoriented and yowls when she doesn't quite know where she is. So I get out of bed and put her in the bed with me and my other cat and we all go back to bed. I love em so I put up with it.:hug:

10-30-2008, 12:52 AM
I try to get 8-9 hours a night. I often don't, as I work as an on-call midwife, being on call 11 days of 14. In that time I am interrupted in my sleep 2-3 times. I do sleep well during the day afterward if I am up all night, but then need to turn around again. WHen I did shifts I chose the night shift, but had a young family and kept turning around to days. (We women are terrible about this, most men stay on shift time until they are done a rotation; they don't get up with kids etc.)
I also have sleep apnea, like many fat people, so I have to use a cpap machine to get good sleep. If your family tell you that you snore, you should consider getting tested for this. I really hoped when I was diagnosed that this would be a magic bullet, helping me to lose weight, but it wasn't, but it does help.
I tend to get insomnia a lot in middle age, usually waking up in the middle of the night to pee, and not getting back to sleep.
40stillfat discussed lots of remedies: I have used valerian well to get to sleep, but I don't always stay asleep, I find melatonin helps that.
I also find the supplement 5HTP helps make me sleepy.
I like the valerian and 5HTP better than benedryl, (can give you nightmares) but a 1/2 gravol is also good. A full tab gets me hyper or gives me nightmares too.
I really do think not sleeping affects our weight. I believe I got into really bad eating habits and weight gain working night shifts. I ate to stay awake, used a lot of caffeine to stay alert, ate sweet stuff for food energy when I needed an adrenaline kick for work.
I lost weight after having kids, but gained a lot working.
I now avoid the caffeine for the most part, use ice water to keep alert, and try to keep my meal times more normal, and eat protein foods for snacks instead of sweets when I can.
This is hard, because clients tend to have baked goods on hand for us. I now request cheese and coldcuts, whole grain crackers instead.
I try, but am often not successful.
good luck every one, have a good sleep.

10-31-2008, 07:26 PM
I'm happy to get 4 hours of uninterupted sleep. As a third shifter it's very difficult, infact, I have been trying to sleep now for over an hour, so I got up and hopped online here... I have to go to work in about 4 hours and with only 2 1/2 hours this AM, Im soooo tired, and frustrated. But, its not usually this bad, just one of those days..ugh

11-02-2008, 09:13 PM
I had a nice group of days and nights off (Thursday evening to monday-tomorrow-8am) and have slept crummy. I get to sleep ok, but cant stay asleep, and cant get back to sleep when I wake during the night.
None of remedies are very good in this situation, since I still need to get up in the morning, and want to stay on my schedule even if I didn't need to get up.

There isn't a lot I can do in the night, no dishes, or vaccuuming,
or even office work to a most degrees, although I do some when I can.
I feel tired, and try meditation and yoga etc, but nothing seems to help. If my dh is also awake, we sometime fool around, its much better than not sleeping, anyhow. :devil:

I usually just wind up doing with out sleep, and get behind. Suggestions very welcome.