Stanley - Interview 21

Age at interview: 93
Brief Outline: Stanley has been retired for nearly 30 years. Since his retirement he has had a major illness and an accident, both which disturbed his sleep, but he is now feeling a lot better and believes his sleep is improving slowly. He keeps himself very active, doing his own shopping, cooking and cleaning most of the time and believes it is important to keep busy during the day.
Background: Widowed, three children, retired Dairy Manager.

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Whilst he was working as a Dairy Manager Stanley started work at 4 am every day and that, combined with having a very physically demanding job, meant he used to sleep very well. He believes he is sleeping less well now because he is not as active as he used to be.
Stanley does try to keep himself busy during the day and will also make an effort to go out if the weather is nice, because he believes even half an hour in the sun makes you feel better and helps you to get on with things during the day. Stanley has an exercise bike and a treadmill and tries to go on those every day, as well as doing regular stretching exercises to keep himself flexible. In spite of having a major illness and a serious accident in recent years, Stanley manages to look after himself mostly, and does his own cleaning, ironing and shopping, although he does miss being able to go out in his garden which he used to really enjoy.
Stanley finds that he will sometimes wake up in the night and take a while to go back to sleep. Occasionally, he will read when he can’t get back to sleep, otherwise he will try and tell himself to relax and exclude any thoughts from his mind, and he often finds that helps him get back to sleep.

Stanley’s doctor prescribed him sleeping tablets at a time when he was recovering from surgery,...

Stanley’s doctor prescribed him sleeping tablets at a time when he was recovering from surgery,...

So that was when you went to the doctor. But was that the time when you were sleeping badly.  Or was it after you had had the surgery and you got home and you were better?
Yes, that was about when I was sleeping badly. It is when you started, you don’t actually think about it, you are laying in bed thinking about these things and it puts you off probably sleep. But I started to train myself not to do it. And then surgeon said, the consultant said when you go to bed draw your curtains so you are in complete darkness.
Right and is that what you do?
And does that help?
Oh yes. Yes.
So did you mention to the surgeon that you were having difficulties sleeping?
And that is why he gave you that advice?
Oh okay, so he didn’t say to you this is what you do to help you sleep. It was, it came from you, is that right, you said to him?
Okay. Did he give you any other advice?
Yes. Well he put me on some sleeping tablets for a while, but I don’t… I take one and I probably only get about three hours.
So you are on sleeping tablets now?
No. No.
No you are not?
I can ask for them if I think I want them.
I see.
I have never had so many tablets in my life.
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