A-Z

Joyce - Interview 09

Age at interview: 79
Brief Outline: Joyce is a retired Tailoress, although she still does quite a lot of dressmaking and sewing. She has been widowed for about 7 years and has two children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren, who mostly live quite nearby. Joyce's sleep first changed when her husband died, and now she finds she wakes up quite a lot in the night. She does believe sleep is important and would like to be able to sleep right the way through, even if only for six hours.
Background: Widowed, 2 children, retired Tailoress

More about me...

Joyce is always very active. She likes to keep busy during the day and looks after her house, cooks for herself and her brother, and does all the gardening.

 
Joyce’s sleep has changed since her husband died some 7 years earlier. She now finds that on several occasions in the week she will wake up, and it can take her between half an hour and an hour to get back to sleep again. Sometimes, if she finds she is tossing and turning, Joyce will come downstairs and get a cup of tea and if she is feeling particularly tired she will also take two paracetamol. Although her sleep is quite disturbed, Joyce won’t go to the doctor about it, but she does occasionally take an over the counter remedy, which sometimes works. She also likes to put lavender on her pillow.
 
So that she doesn’t worry in bed about all the things she has to do the next day, Joyce will make a list of everything she thinks she would like to achieve, and she finds this helps clear her mind at night. Joyce likes to watch television in bed and will often fall asleep with it on.
 
Joyce does find that living on her own she tends to be more alert, even at night, and thinks this may mean she sleeps lighter than if she lived with someone.
 

Joyce sleeps less and wakes up a lot more in the night since her husband died several years ago.

Joyce sleeps less and wakes up a lot more in the night since her husband died several years ago.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
If you go to bed and you are tired and like as I said, I can’t sleep during the day, I never have been able to sleep. I am not one that would lay and doze in a chair or anything. If I was really tired I would have to lay down and stretch out, but it is a thing I have never done and I have always tried to keep busy so that when I go to bed I am exhausted. But some nights, I might get six hours. And another night it might only be about three. It all depends how your mind works, but as I said before that I do find that the television is a boon in the middle of the night. It saves you tossing about. You can put it on quietly and there is some quite interesting programmes on, especially the BBC news the world news. And I do find that interesting and I find before I know where I am I have dozed off and missed half of it you see, and then perhaps I might wake up about seven, come down and make a cup of tea and go back and usually my brother puts the paper in for me about quarter to eight and I go back with the paper. Sometimes I might doze off for another hour. But otherwise I get up and try and keep busy, but that is how I find, that since I have lost my husband, that is how my sleep pattern is.
 
So was it different when your husband was alive?
 
Oh yes. I could always have a good night’s sleep. Never no bother, you know, always reckoned to have a good seven hours at least. Seven or eight.
 
What seven hours unbroken or…?
 
Yes usually yes.
 
So if you could have a good night’s sleep what would that be?
 
Well a good night’s sleep would be a good six straight off I think. 
 

Joyce not only remembers being very tired when her children were young, but also being woken up...

Text only
Read below

Joyce not only remembers being very tired when her children were young, but also being woken up...

HIDE TEXT
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
What about when the kids were smaller?
 
Well I think when your kids were smaller I seem to feel that you were tireder actually you could sleep longer, you know, yes.
 
That is true.
 
You could sleep longer.
 
So did they keep you awake at night when they were smaller?
 
Well my daughter did for the first few weeks. I could have thrown her out the window. I had even got the pram upstairs. But again as I say you are running about all the time with children.
 
You are during the day?
 
You are running about with them.
 
And what about when they were teenagers and they are out and about?
 
Well again you can be a bit over protective and I remember when my daughter was about 16 wanting to go to dances and all that. I mean I never ever stopped her going but I used to insist on picking her up outside and then it was one night I remember. 'Oh I will get a taxi tonight Mum don’t pick me up, don’t pick up'. And of course I am in bed just dozing off and then the phone goes, 'Mum can you come and fetch us there is a big queue for taxis' you see and I had to get out of bed and go and then probably drop three or four of them off as well on the way home. Do you know what I mean. The fact is, well you do tend to be over protective and that. And I mean I would never stop them going but you like to see them safely home. Don't you, the same problems was about then. 
 

Joyce finds that since her husband died, 5 years ago, her sleep has been quite fragmented, and...

Joyce finds that since her husband died, 5 years ago, her sleep has been quite fragmented, and...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
You see really. So I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I did have some sleep but not a good night’s sleep. And I think this is what happens. If you go to bed and you are tired and like as I said, I can’t sleep during the day, I never have been able to sleep. I am not one that would lay and doze in a chair or anything. If I was really tired I would have to lay down and stretch out, but it is a thing I have never done and I have always tried to keep busy so that when I go to bed I am exhausted. But some nights, I might get six hours. And another night it might only be about three. It all depends how your mind works, but as I said before I do find that the television is a boon in the middle of the night. It saves you tossing about. You can put it on quietly and there is some quite interesting programmes on, especially the BBC news the world news. And I do find that interesting and I find before I know where I am I have dozed off and missed half of it you see, and then perhaps I might wake up about seven, come down and make a cup of tea and come back and usually my brother puts the paper in for me about quarter to eight and I go back with the paper. Sometimes I might doze off for another hour. But otherwise I get up and try and keep busy, but that is how I find, that since I lost my husband, that is how my sleep pattern is.
 
So was it different when your husband was alive?
 
Oh yes. I could always have a good night’s sleep. Never no bother, you know, always reckoned to have a good seven hours at least. Seven or eight.
 
What seven hours unbroken or…?
 
Yes usually yes.
Previous Page
Next Page