Is It OK For Seniors to Sleep All Day?
In adulthood, people generally don’t need as much sleep as they once did in their childhood or teen years. However, as they approach their senior years, their need for more sleep increases. The irony is that elderly people often don’t get a good night’s sleep for a number of reasons. This leaves them tired and prone to taking naps in the day to beat fatigue.
However, family members and senior care aides that notice an elderly person sleeping for most of the daylight hours should consider this a warning sign that something may be wrong with their health.
Seniors and Their Sleep Patterns.
Insomnia is common in elderly people for a number of reasons. Primarily, many elderly people deal with chronic conditions that may cause aches and pains that wake them up. They may take medicine that makes them unable to sleep at night or very sleepy in the day. Seniors may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, which causes them to get tired in the day and need a good nap. It’s not uncommon for elderly people to take several short naps during the day as well.
Many seniors have normal, if not typical, sleep patterns that get their mind and body the rest that it needs to get through the day. However, family members and senior care aides that notice hours and hours of sleep during the day may feel some worry and wonder if it is alright for seniors to sleep all day.
Too Much Sleep Could Be a Warning Sign.
While it’s not unusual for elderly adults to nap in the day, there are times when excessive sleep could be a warning sign that something isn’t right. Family caregivers and senior care aides should note how many times and how long the elderly person sleeps during the day.
The key to determining whether or not an elderly person is getting too much sleep in the day is to look at the quality of that sleep. Often, moderate activity can make an elderly person tired and a short nap is necessary. If they feel sleepy after activity and still get a good night’s sleep then their daytime naps are no real problem. However, if they sleep a lot but aren’t active and spend most of the day just sitting around, that could mean something else is going on.
Possible Causes of Excessive Sleep in Seniors.
There are numerous reasons why elderly adults having trouble staying awake all day beyond having their night sleep disrupted. One common cause is due to the side effects of some medications that can make the body drowsy. Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can also trigger excessive sleepiness. Still other causes can be boredom, mild to medium dementia, anemia, diabetes, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Family caregivers should track how much their elderly relative is sleeping during the day because more than a few naps may be considered excessive by doctors and signal that something more is going on than the typical tiredness that old age can bring.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Millstone, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information