Oh really – retirement and sleep

November 6, 2009


You have got to admire those researchers, they keep coming up with ‘new’ ideas.  Apparently a new study in the journal Sleep shows that retirement is followed by a sharp decrease in the prevalence of sleep disturbances, particularly in men, management-level workers, employees who reported high psychological job demands, and people who occasionally or consistently worked night shifts.
No, really?  Guess why? Because the researchers have concluded that once you have no work-related stress it means you are likely to sleep better.  Who would have thought it?

Results showed that the odds of having disturbed sleep in the seven years after retirement were 26 percent lower than in the seven years before retiring and the greatest reduction in sleep disturbances was reported by those who had suffered depression or mental fatigue in their work life.
The study involved employees from the French national gas and electricity company, Electricité de France-Gaz de France, and research also indicated that the results were perhaps related to the fact that the participants had enjoyed employment benefits such as guaranteed job stability, a statutory retirement age between 55 and 60 years, and a company-paid pension that was 80 percent of their salary.
Not any more, I suspect and it doesn’t tally with my purely anecdotal research which indicates the opposite. Retirement with its sharp decline in income and adjustment to a different way of life can bring its own stresses.  Those working in a busy environment suddenly find life a little flat, with no one to exchange views with, discuss last night’s match or have their brains stretched solving a problem.
When I was working in my local library I found that the greatest number of books taken out by the elderly. Now although they are great readers, many also told me that they didn’t sleep as much as they used to so had given up trying and took out more books to see them through the night.

Has retirement affected your sleeping habits?


Article by  


What do you think of this health article by ? Join the discussion...