I often read that as we age sleep duration shortens. I don't think it's because we need less, although I'm no expert. It seems that lower levels of the hormone melatonin and a less precise hypothalamus can make it difficult. The amount of deep sleep is also reduced; this is the period when the magic happens.
I don't drink caffeine in the afternoon, and try to keep to a sleep schedule. I still wake most mornings a little fatigued. I also follow a pattern. Many nights I'll awake after five or six hours, around 4 am, and not be able to return to slumber. I'll get up and have breakfast, watch the television or youtube, often I'll start writing a blog post. And start my day. It's not ideal because it means there is a long time until lunch. Then after a few nights like this I'll sleep solidly for eight or nine hours, and feel a little more refreshed. Then start the cycle again. The only problem is when a short night coincides with a busy day, I'll often increase caffeine consumption to three cups, still trying not to drink any in the pm. This works most of the time.
This morning was a little unusual, I got up at 4 am and had my normal oats and fruit, with a coffee. This prompted the idea for the post, after watching youtube for about forty five minutes I went back to bed. The alarm went off a six, I silenced it and unusually for me went back to sleep. Waking at 7 am I had just enough time for a session on the bike trainer, some cardio and to get ready for work. Drinking another coffee as I sat writing this.
I wrote about calories and mood, maybe when they are consummed has an affect. Is hunger waking me? I eat my last meal at around 4 pm before visiting Marcia in hospital. So I think this is a contributing factor. The alternative is to eat quite late, which can have a detrimental affect on being ready for siesta time.
Unfortunately starting my day so early does mean it's a long wait for my next meal. I get very hungry as the morning passes. When Marcia comes home I'll have a better daily routine, and hopefully see an improvement.