What's it like to Be Retired? Interesting Commentary by Irwin!

One month retired - sleeping 12 hours a day!

by Carole K
(Olympia, WA)

Hello all. First post. I retired from a stressful job on Dec 19 after 50 years in the work force (I'm 69).

All I want to do is sleep, relax and not do ANYTHING I don't want to. My sleep time is all skewed: I sleep all day and stay up all night.

I talked to my doctor and she said "listen to your body". My friends tell me to just consider this a "detoxing" time, and that I should ease into things and find out who the "real" me is.....perhaps I am a night person?

Anyway, I miss getting up with the sun still shining feeling the energy to go out to exercise. I made a lot of changes on Jan 1 - I stopped my heavy drinking and started my low carb diet.

My sister says my body is in "shock" and trying to adjust....another friend say I should "hibernate" this winter and then in the Spring feel renewed and ready to face retirement... dunno about that...

I keep beating myself up for being so lazy... another friend said when she retired from the State she slept for 2 months before she got motivated to get on with her life.. anyway, I am asking if any of you went thru this "sleep and don't do anything" phase, and how long did it last? Thanks, Carole K.

Comments for One month retired - sleeping 12 hours a day!

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Sleeping long hours . 1 year retired
by: Ronnie Acerra / Clifton, N.J.

I am also sleeping 12-14 hours a day. I retired last March 17,2018. My last job was a manual labor job in a gym cleaning and maintaining a high class gym. I miss getting up at 6:00 also.

I adjusted slowly but finally decided that I will continue my body building . Five days a week. Just two hours a day but that wonderful feeling of accomplishment stays with you all day. All is right with the world.

Last month, Feb I turned 63. I didn’t want to keep working unless it was something unique to my capabilities which is music and weight training.

I caught a bug last month after my birthday and just sleep for a week, no clear symptoms besides that not right feeling. I felt better around the 7 th day then my gf got sick. I developed chills and was sick for another week. I have not returned to the gym because I stay up til 3 and sleep until four.

I have to break out of this!!

Retiree
by: Elissa / CA

Am going through this right now. Slept 14 last night. Other friends slept like that for 6 months. Enjoy!

No energy after retiring
by: Cathy

I have been retired about 5 weeks. I work out every morning which is great. After that, I have no energy or desire to do anything else. I hate h lou w I feel. Like many of you, I was high energy with a purposeful career. I need to snap out of this. Any suggestions?

Retired
by: Kat

I love being retired and doing nothing! Is it so wrong to relax and not be busy 24/7? I too worked my entire life and enjoy doing nothing. Does anyone else feel this way.

Guilty
by: Gary/Jersey

I retired from foodservice then took a great job in security. I was laid off and decide to finally relax. Now I feel lazy and guilty for doing nothing.

I go out but have no ambition to do anything. Is this normal? I’m not unhappy just sort of hanging around.

Anybody else in this situation?

Tired-me too!
by: Cheryl, Florida

So happy to have found these comments!

I retired unexpectedly at 64, three weeks ago, because my body couldn’t take anymore. I have been in dentistry for 45 years. Can relate to so many experiences shared.

Sleeping, nonproductive, wanting to be alone. Feeling guilty and lazy. Will try to chill, heal, and let it unfold.

Thanks!

Retired 1 week ago
by: Anonymous

I stopped working 1 week ago. I am in my early 50s & am financially well off. I may work again, but for the moment I am having some time off.

I have also been really sleepy & have been feeling guilty about not getting through my task list as fast as I want. Like someone else said, trying to just achieve a small number of tasks each day is a positive thing.

I have been keeping active & doing more swimming & reading which I enjoy. I did not enjoy work for the last few years (sitting in an office). I only kept working as others told me I was crazy to retire early.

I do not regret leaving my job, but I am a little lost, lonely & tired. I do hope that with time, things will improve. I hope to engage in volunteer work & give back to the community.

I retired young!
by: Jennifer

I retired at 47!
Two months ago been an adjustment
Im.disabled I can't work trying find things to do
I have a puppy and im.a new artist so I spend time drawing I tend to be Wake more now not working then working



Thank you
by: Anonymous

I’m so grateful for the comments here. I too retired after 40 years in a high stress job.

Sleeping then not sleeping sometimes up all night sleep till noon sometimes fall asleep at 8:00 at night and sleep until 2:00am then go back to sleep at 6:00 am. I was afraid to tell anybody. I too am not interested in doing anything.

So glad to know this is a process many people who worked so hard go through when they finally stop.

Thanks I feel better about myself today.

Adjustment period
by: Terry London

I retired in 2013 and felt like this for a while and on occasion, still do. There is always going to be an adjustment period for most people as they have gone from having to do so much to possibly having to do very little unless by choice. You also feel like you have lost your status and importance when someone says " What do you do for a living?". I found the first 2 Winters the worst. I just couldn't get going in the mornings. I think at times it's more lethargy than fatigue. You do get used to it and soon you will wondering where you found time to work. I think the tiredness will become better although it can go the other way if you are not doing enough to become tired enough to sleep. Exercise is key and occupying your mind as well. It's early days so it could take a year or two to get fully used to be the master / mistress of your own schedule. You'll find lots of reasons to get out of bed at a reasonable time of the morning. Just give it time and don't stress about it. You've earned it. If it is of great concern to you, maybe set your alarm and get up at a set time every day.


5 Weeks Retired
by: Anonymous

Wow! This site gives me hope. I am 71 and have wore many career hats over the past 50 years. The last being a legal assistant at a large law firm for 15 years.

Since I retired five weeks ago, I wanted to do nothing but sit and play games and read. I have a bucket list, but can’t seem to motivate myself to start any of the items on it. My sons keep asking me what my plans are each day and all I can respond is "I don’t know."

I am happy that I’m not alone. In these feelings. I don’t feel depressed - just feel like being left alone for now to do my own thing.

Next week I am going to attempt joining friends for water aerobics and hopefully that will go well enough that I will want to do more!

I guess I have been on someone else’s schedule for so many years that I just want to make my own schedule!

Now to get my sons to stop worrying like a couple mother hens. Lol

Sleeping Too Much?
by: Cindy/Florida

I appreciate this site and the answers here. 35+ years of working with 2 weeks off per year!

I too am sleeping 10 hours every night (would happily sleep 12 but was shocked by that, so shoot for 9, then hit snooze for an hour). I was also afraid something was wrong with me, but it feels natural, other than the guilt (which I will work on).

I am purposely doing nothing until Jan 2019! My dreams have been crazy and often work associated, so I presume my mind is re-tuning itself.

I love the comment of easing into the morning and I am doing that too, looks like afternoon and early evening are my energetic times.

Blessings to all!

LOVE THE SLEEP
by: Cm long beach ca

After working like a machine for 43 years ,its time to make up that sleep debt .. 5 am rush eat freeway work.. stress raising kids .

I do what I want now--no guilt and always ease into the day . Coffee finished at 1 pm .. Its great to sleep as much as I want .

I have earned it .. and no doubt all of you have .. enjoy it !

Wow I was so scared
by: Rhonda / California

I retired 6 weeks ago from one job after 39 years not including the two or three jobs I had before that.

I am so thankful I found this site because I was scared that I was sleeping so much that I wasn't going to wake up.

I'm 59 I just made an appointment with my doctor to find out what is wrong with me because I am so tired.

I'm more tired than I was when I was working 12 hours a day. I have been walking I have been on my treadmill doing exercise but at night I sleep so hard and I just didn't know why but thanks to all of you guys it's normal so now I have a smile on my face and in my heart that nothing is really wrong with me!

thank you.

Retired from govt employment
by: PEEK-A-BOO Suffolk County

Recently let go of a very stressful enployment . I had worked over 36 years I noticed I get tired and want to just sleep earlier than all my years prior.

I refuse to fall into that snare. I get out and workout and i keep increasing. And do my activities in moderation.

You have to recover
by: Catherine

Hi I retired 2 years ago at 53 after 32 years in a high stress job and I felt exhausted and sleepy for months.
All I wanted to do was potter about alone.

But 2 years on I'm full of energy and do voluntary work and see friends. It just takes time.

I pushed myself to my limit for 30 years so it's not surprising it took a while to recover.

Be gentle on yourselves!!! Also as my dad said, you have to allow initially for lethargy caused by not running on adrenalin anymore.

Catherine

Sleeping
by: Dave

Do not feel bad about sleeping for a while. It will take you time -- especially after a stressful work life to find alternatives.

Try them for a while and see what you like -- gardening, swimming, etc. Even if you have not tried them before, they may be beneficial! These will keep you active and mentally engaged. You will find that when you find something like that, you will find people (young and old) that you can engage with. This is helpful too.

Adrenalin junky
by: Becky/Ohio

Last Wednesday was my final day of work after 46 years in the workforce (not including highschool work). Mind you, I've only been off for 3 "work" days so far so it's probably still like being on vacation. But I find around 12:30 - 1 p.m. I'm sleepy.

I worked full time my entire life and was always full of energy. There is no reason to NOT have energy, but still I want to sleep. After reading your comments I am feeling better about how I am feeling, but fearful that this feeling won't go away.

I need to find a sweet spot - get that jolt of adrenalin that kept me going for so long. I will be 65 this week and these feelings are a bit scary.

Thanks for your comments and allowing me to be part of your group.

Just like the other posts
by: Retired/Spotsylvania

I also retired 6 months ago and am feeling guilty because all I want to do is read, sleep and be alone. I’m so happy I found this website. I don’t feel to guilty at the moment.

I want to know if this is normal. I don’t know what I should be feeling or doing. I also have a to do list and tackle things very slowly. I joined the gym and make myself go at least one day a week. I hope this is all normal.

Tired and concerned. I love being home and not having ton commute and work 12 hour days.

Retired and being lazy
by: Nancy, Catoosa Ok

I am so glad I am not alone. I retired about 3 weeks ago. All I want to do is sleep, eat, work puzzles and be on the internet.

I am not unhappy with this, just feeling guilty. My husband has been disabled for 3 years so we are now together in this lazy world. However, he is used to getting up and doing things and I just want to be lazy.

I am hoping I will get more energetic one of these days because we sort of trade off on sleeping hours and never really do stuff together!

I have been telling myself it is just a phase to make up for so many years of getting up early and being stressed. it is my time now! :-D

Sleeping a lot.
by: Anonymous

I retired at age 67. I am now 74. for the first few years,, yes years, i felt somewhat guilty that I was not working my high stress job. Took some time to allow myself the freedom to do nothing or do something i liked.

Now there is so much to do for me.. so many things to learn, things to see and do.. give it time you will love being really renewed, New Horizons await the retired. Linda

Sleeping 12 hrs a day 1st month after retirement
by: Lora

The heavy sleeping I felt is due to the fact that I was never a 'morning' person but had to be, to hold the kind of jobs I had through my working life.

I was highly stressed getting to work early for all those years and it ruined my whole day and mood.

I am doing my projects and home repairs at my own pace now (no 'time-panic' feeling), and I find I can devise ways of accomplishing the work much more easily with slower, more deliberate thought and with no deadlines.

I am trying to minimize my outside obligations until the things I've left hanging before retirement are completed, but I don't overdo -- as long as 'something' is done or a mthode devised each day I'm pleased.

Boring goals at first, but a relief to be able to accomplish them without fearing hat I'll 'never' get to them or figure them out.

4 wks retired Northern - kind of lost
by: Denise

Who am I???

I have worked last 43 yrs mostly hospital or Dr office- last 15 yrs helping patients with appointments, medication refills and messages to Doctors.

Now retired , find myself staying up till 1 am and getting up at 9!!!-trying to fight with myself to not feel guilt.

Plan is to move with 2 sons and buy house divide expenses have my own section of house, mostly for security and companionship reasons, I feel anxiety ans excitment about building this chapter of my life

Sleepless(not) in Northern CA

I found others that do the same!
by: Honey in Hawaii, Kauai

I am 62 years old and retired 4 months ago. I worked as a psychiatric social worker for the DOH for 27 years. The other workers were more difficult than the mentally ill patients that we served. I stay up late and sleep about 12 hours. I do get things done, I have had my home repaired and new floors put in, minimized down the household and many other at home repairs and projects. I binge on late night tv and then sleep as long as I like.

Finding this site was a big relief to me! I think that I am still on weekend mode and realize that I was most likely on the go and sleep deprived for many years.

One month
by: Anonymous

I retired 5 weeks ago wow I regret this decision. I'm looking for another job already. This is very very lonely. You are correct. Staying asleep is tempting. I do walk a lot and I care for elderly parents but this retirement is do boring, don't do it.

Same same
by: Laura

I retired about a month ago after working 40 + years and I am still working out a "schedule". I thought I would finally get a long list of things done. Nope!

I find I like sitting around thinking about stuff that I never had the time to do before. Still I am caught up in productivity goals that were so much a part of my life and feel guilty for not marking off a list.

I too am tired all the time and my sleeping is all switched around. I think it'll get better if I just go back to the gym. But no hurry I am retired and have all the time in the world.

I think it's mostly developing new habits and patterns.

Lost in Retirement
by: Leon, also in Olympia

Similar here, Carole.

Apparently, feeling lost in retirement is not too abnormal. Glad to see I'm not alone, at least. :)

I'm 70, retired for a couple years. First year and some months were filled with all the activity of moving, but now I face each day without a clue of what to do. I have ideas that pretty much excite me, but not much motivation to actually DO them.

All I seem to want really is to feed my many appetites, but not as much fun alone - spouse works.

Of course, I do it all alone anyway, but all it gets me in the end is mostly weight gain and some depression and listlessness.

I'm there too...
by: Chuck-Denver

I'm 64 and Retired from federal contractor July 2016-just noticed what a gift sleep is!

Still can't get the to do list out of my mind after working and chasing my tail since I was 16. Sort of feel guilty about it but as each day passes the guilt lessens....I guess what bothers me most is not being part of the mainstream any more.

Trying not to beat myself up too much about it, I'll make it fun somehow. Gotta stay away from cable news all day-hard to do.

Got a part time job doing product demos at Costco. People I meet crack me up---and chasing my tail is not all its cracked up to be.

One month retired-sleeping 12 hours a day!
by: Rebecca/CA

Thanks for all the post and comments on being retired. I have worked since I was 14 . Not counting babysitting jobs , haha . And for the last 20 years in local government as a social worker instructing welfare clients on how to obtain and keep a job .

The majority of the experience was dealing with the "entitlement" mind set and drama episodes with clients .

it warms my heart to read how you all worked so hard and now can enjoy retirement. I sleep 10-12 hours a day and figure my body is recuperating at age 56!

You all are awesome!

Retired and lost
by: Lost in bayou

I am a 69 yr.old married female. I retired about 3 months ago. My husband is 5 yrs. younger and still works full time. I was very unhappy the last year and wanted out of the place. I have a lot of To Do things but rarely do any. Just don't have the desire to do. My sleep schedule is crazy. Sleeping later,than watching mine less TV is what I seem to do. I am sure I should be doing more but just want to stay home and do nothing. Hopefully this feeling will pass.

40 semi retired
by: eric, canada

All I can share is my experience, been in the service for 13 years and just got out of the service a month ago. I also been sleeping all day and night.

I don't know about working my whole at the same job like you guys but I know me 13 years and the crazy stuff I went thru took a toll on my body and mind.

I sleep all day, stay up until 2 am and do the same the next day. been doing it now for 2 weeks and I just don't want to do anything, and I mean nothing.

its very hard to do considering I used to have a very active life for 13 years. its important to me to listen to my body and let it rest as I have been pushing it to the extreme for years.

I am starting to cut my grass in the yard and enjoy it rather than just rushing to get another to do list done, I do little things now to get me going slowly. everyone is different, even if I am an adult now and haven't been living at home for over 20 years, I still hear my mom yelling at me to get off my butt and go play outside or I hear my army sergeant go go go, lol.

I say to people older than me, enjoy your time off, rest, and do the things you re passionate about :)

theres only one of us and we need to take care of ourself:)

bless you all

Same Feeling
by: Larry

As of today - I'm one month into retirement. I worked for 47 years straight without a break. I'm 68. During that time I had two professions - 30 years in the military and 17 in local government. Both very active and stressful. In retirement, I find I have the same feeling - I just want to sleep and or just sit around. I really enjoy just being alone. We'll see what happens.

rings true
by: DL Chicago

Glad to see that others are going thru the same cycle.

Retired at 63 four months ago. Still feel guilty everyday for not "accomplishing a big task list".

I just want to rest and smell the roses. I have plenty of hobbies and projects to keep me busy. I just don't feel like doing anything right now.

Glad to hear many of you have the same feelings. if I'm still sitting about in a six months, then I may have to do something to get help.

For now, it must be natural, it's what my body wants.

"Sleeping 12 hours a day. . . . . .
by: Diana

I've been retired for a few years now. I am 71.

I've been writing to pen pals, and enjoy looking for mail inside my mailbox. Then I also like to do some crafting: making greeting cards, sewing, knitting, crocheting. I've also joined a swap place on the internet, of which I can join or choose to not join different themes. There are many things one can sign up for and join in on.

I also enjoy getting out and have a driver for 2 times per week. (I am unable to drive). I also like to design things in my computer program that I have installed.

I hope that some of my ideas have helped. Sleep if you want, and get up and choose things to do.

Diana

Sleep and Depression
by: Soky

Hi Carole, I retired from the Federal Government after 40 years of service I am 66 years old right now. There were many stressors in my life during that time so when my ex-husband asked me to marry him again, I did without blinking an eye.

I moved to Puerto Rico which is so different from the States and I now live in the country. All I do is sleep, watch television and feel sorry for myself. I am awake at all hours of the night and was taking antidepressants for my mental state.

I am so repentant, but what to do? I will not divorce him, but I can't live here.

I need to go back to Florida but he does not want to go anywhere. I sleep and wake up screaming. I am so lost that I've thought of suicide. At times I refuse to bathe and am getting fat for lack of exercise. It would be easy for me to leave, but would that be fair to him?

Meanwhile, I take sleeping during the daytime and Valium at night.

Please take care of yourself, and hope your outcome is better than mine. God bless you. Soky

Me. Too,
by: Jenny

Hello, I am into 22 days of retirement from a stressful job, I am 62. I had a hard year in other ways, too that all just came to this opportunity to retire.

I had a list of things I want to do, but I found the first two weeks, I just wanted to be left alone, sleeping schedule is still not regular, and trying to recover emotionally from the stuff I suppressed during the year.

I found this website and feel encouraged that there are people experiencing the same things. This week has been more energetic, but, my husband still is working and we are trying to work that out too.

I worked since I was 16, not all at the same job, but still in the workforce. It is a big adjustment.

I have enjoyed my lunch and walks with friends. I have gotten back into my art work, and do daily meditations.

I still feel lost and grateful for the blessing at the same time. It is winter, and maybe with spring and first checks coming in, I will be able to figure out what this new phase is about.

Thanks for the comments
by: Carole K

I really really appreciate the feedback. What great suggestions. I am feeling better and better about "detoxing" and letting myself ease into retirement with no self-criticism. Thanks again - Carole K

SLEEPYTIME
by: Goldie

In time your body should adjust.

Click on the "Friendship Here" button on the right. Welcome!

It's Normal
by: Nancy

Sleeping 12 hours a day, detoxing, and not wanting to do anything, sounds more normal to me than skipping off happily into the sunset of retirement. Especially after 50 years in the workforce.

I've been retired 3 plus years now and I still sleep very hard every night. I think I was sleep deprived that whole time I worked.

Even if I was in a work situation where I didn't have too much stress, I'm sure it was in the back of my mind what was awaiting me when I woke up in the morning.

I am currently experiencing a cold and/or flu. I always think, when I get sick now, how I always had to go back to work before I felt like it when I was working. Now I can do sofa duty until I feel better.

It is definitely a relief even though I do still have that niggling feeling that I should be doing something. Take care of yourself.

Big adjustment
by: Linda

I retired at 67 4 years ago. The first year was a lot of sleeping, leisure, some travel, walking and trying to figure out what retirement means to me. Different for us all.

It took a couple of years before I accepted I did not have to get up and go to work. That is so nice ow to accept now that it is time to harvest all those years of making memories and understanding that it is life itsel that is the reward.

Take it easy and enjoy the ride

Thanks for the comments
by: Anonymous

You made some good suggestions. Thanks much.

what to do
by: Michelle

What I do is I plan on doing at least two things a day. Go shopping, fold clothes etc. Im still working as sub preschool teacher, but I am home a lot too.

Give Yourself a Break
by: Anonymous

It is not even a month since you retired: give yourself time to adjust..... then eventually (maybe in the spring as your sister said) start a list of simple goals e.g. walk a mile a day, go over to the local park or dog park and talk to at least two people, take a class, start a hobby at home, decide on a book you want to read and get it, easy stuff like that.then start a daily journal of what you want to do and what you have done.

Congrats on working 50 years, that's a long time. I personally did not go though what you are but I also still teach a few students (but am sorry I retired).

Good luck to you and God's blessings.

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