A-Z

Otto - Interview 36

Age at interview: 82
Brief Outline: Otto has been widowed for four years and has 2 children and one grandchild. Otto is a retired design engineer and was in the RAF during the second world war. Otto likes to keep active by walking a lot and also has an exercise bicycle. His main problems with sleep are that he finds he has to get up in the night to go to the toilet, and then finds he can't get back to sleep, usually because he finds thoughts and worries go round and round his head.
Background: Widowed, 2 children, retired Design Engineer

More about me...

Otto is in generally good health, but does wish he could sleep better. Otto finds that he can go to sleep quite quickly, but usually wakes up in the early hours of the morning to get up to go to the toilet. He then finds it very difficult to get back to sleep again. The main problem is that he finds worries, and concerns start to go round and round in his head and stop him from getting back to sleep.

 
Sometimes Otto will wake up several times in the night and he may end up only getting about four to five hours sleep in total. He is not really sure if he needs more sleep than that, but does find he is quite drowsy when he wakes up in the morning. He has tried going to bed earlier, but hasn’t found that makes any difference. He has also tried listening to relaxing sounds at night, such as birds singing, and has occasionally found that helps.
 
Although Otto hasn’t gone to the doctor specifically about his sleep, he did mention it to his doctor in passing and was prescribed some tablets to help. However, Otto will only take them when he feels he has had a very bad night the day before, because he is already on quite a lot of medication and doesn’t particularly want to take any more if he can help it.
 
Otto doesn’t nap during the day, although has occasionally tried to lay down and have a nap when he is very tired, but finds that he still can’t get to sleep. Sometimes, Otto finds he falls asleep watching the television in the evening, but is annoyed that it only seems to happen when it is a programme he wants to watch!
 

Otto's perfect night would be 8 hours of sleep uninterrupted, and he has read somewhere that that...

Text only
Read below

Otto's perfect night would be 8 hours of sleep uninterrupted, and he has read somewhere that that...

HIDE TEXT
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And if I said to you, you could have a perfect night’s sleep tonight. Can you describe to me what a perfect night’s sleep would be?
 
Well sleeping the whole night through.
 
And how many hours would that be?
 
Well I suppose about eight hours.
 
Is that a sleep you used to have eight hours all the way through or what do you base that on. Your perfect night’s sleep?
 
I suppose we used to go to bed about ten and I had to be up at six in the morning to travel to work.
 
Oh right so you used to be in bed at ten then and up at six. So that’s an eight hour period and did you sleep right the way through that when you were doing that?
 
No, I had to get up in the night.
 
So I’m just trying to get an idea really of where you get this idea of I would like to have eight hours as my perfect night’s sleep. Where does that come from?
 
Well I have read that a good night’s sleep is eight hours.
 
Is that anything the doctors said to you at all about what a good night’s sleep should be?
 
No.  
 
 

Otto wonders that if he, like Margaret Thatcher, needs only about four or five hours sleep now he...

Text only
Read below

Otto wonders that if he, like Margaret Thatcher, needs only about four or five hours sleep now he...

HIDE TEXT
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And so when you to the loo how long does it take you after that to go back to sleep?
 
Well sometimes I am still awake two hours afterwards. And then of course it’s getting near the time when I have to get up the next time. So I’ve hardly had any sleep.
 
So if, say now how many hours sleep a night are you actually getting do you think?
 
Well I should think about four or five hours or something like that. Whether that’s all I need, because I know Mrs Thatcher used to only sleep about four hours.
 
Yes. So you feel tired in the morning when you wake up?
 
Yes.
 
And what about during the day. Do you feel tired during the day?
 
Yes, I don’t watch much television. I only used to watch the David Attenborough programmes but as soon as I’ve started watching I’d go to sleep. 
Previous Page
Next Page