A change of horse

A change of horse

There’s an old expression that says you ‘don’t change horses in the midstream’ (of a race). In a broad sense, the phrase implies that it’s a bad idea to change leadership or your adopted stance midway through something.

Is it?

Even in a short term sense, circumstances can and do change all the time; nothing is constant. In the long view if life’s a race, sometimes a change of horse isn’t a weak or inadvisable thing to do but a very necessary thing, vital even.

Take our sleep for instance. We tend to think we sleep a certain way and that we have personal sleep characteristics individual to us. Whilst this is true to an extent, our sleep can and will change throughout our lives and, as these changes relate to our changing physiology as we age, they also aren’t entirely within our control.

The Sleep Council have a helpful guide: Sleep Tips For Over 50s. The guide serves as something of a ‘what to expect’ in terms of your changing sleeping patterns, as well as providing tips for adjusting your daily routine as your sleeping patterns begin to change.

Did you know for instance that, as you get older, you’ll experience more brief awakenings during the night? You’ll also lose the phase of sleep where you experience the deepest levels of non-R.E.M. sleep and you won’t experience the same temperature drop as your body prepares for sleep.

To us, the lesson in all of this is that when the pace of the race changes, sometimes you do need a different horse i.e. different approach.

If you’re over 50 and think your sleep might be changing, visit sleepcouncil.org.uk and download their ‘Sleep Tips For Over 50s’ guide now.

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