As we age, feeling sleepy during the day and taking regular naps are both common and normal. However, daytime sleeping becomes a concern when you notice your loved one spending most of their time in bed or sleeping all day instead of engaging in life.
Is It Normal for Elderly People to Sleep a Lot?
Older individuals tend to get less quality sleep than when they were younger due to various reasons. It’s different for everyone, but it is common for many to wake up frequently in the middle of the night because of increased sensitivity to sounds or changes in temperature, an overactive bladder, or pain from arthritis. Thus, they compensate for lost quality sleep by heading to bed a little earlier or with an afternoon nap, which is not a cause for concern.
However, you should explore environmental factors and habits if the short naps turn into sleeping all day or choosing to stay in bed instead of doing things they normally love to do. There may be underlying physical or medical problems they aren’t sure how to communicate to you.
Why Is My Loved One Sleeping All Day?
As mentioned, sleep deprivation due to increased sensitivity to their environment and age-related aches are the most common reason for an elderly individual to go to bed earlier or more frequently. There can be many other common reasons why this is such.
Perhaps the fatigue stems from boredom and a lack of engagement. If age-related changes or chronic health conditions are preventing them from doing the things they enjoy, passing the time by sleeping all day may seem like the only alternative sometimes. When options for entertainment, activities, and outings are limited, it can deal a serious blow to one’s quality of life. Add the struggle of having poor eyesight or hearing to that, having little to look forward to during the day and no schedule can lead them to slip into this bad habit.
Another possible culprit is medication. Prescription medication for nausea, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and allergies all count excessive sleepiness as a potential side effect. Discuss with the doctor alternative medication or if it is possible to reduce the dosage to improve alertness during the day.
The Importance of Staying Active
Providing plenty of opportunities for physical activity, mental stimulation, and social interaction is important to foster a high quality of life in your loved one’s golden years. This can boost their energy levels and help them to feel excited about waking up each day with a plan of how to spend their time meaningfully, instead of choosing to sleep all day.
Why Choose Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg?
Caring for a loved one and taking care of your personal life may be extremely challenging to juggle simultaneously. At Rittenhouse At Muhlenberg, we offer quality programs designed to stimulate every resident’s mind and keep them physically active, helping them to live to their fullest alongside like-minded individuals.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.