How much sleep does a senior need?

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Eva M. sleeps from 7pm to 8:30am each night but also has a very regular nap from 1 to 4 PM. She on top of this rest can be tired outside of this time. I have ruled out illness and infection (for the most part) and I am concerned that perhaps she is tired because she getting too much rest?

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well adding on and it's May 2014 My husband 83 falls asleep at 9-9:30 pm every night & sleeps until 9 am, takes no naps during the day. He is on Alzheimers meds & trazadone for sleep, seems to be a working combination, I spent way too long awake or sleeping with one eye open, this sleep pattern change is A OK for us
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My 86 year old used to go to bed at 11pm. I am so tired sometimes that I started putting the medic alert necklace and watch to bed, so I wouldn't have to hunt for valuables in the morning, that signal is enough for her to go to bed and read her magazine, for an hour or so. She is usually asleep by 9:30.
In the morning I get her up by 715, to do the exercises, although there are some mornings, like Sunday, when she sleeps in a little to 10.

When she was on Aricept or Exelon she would sleep while sitting up right on the couch,
but she does not take those anymore...wow recalling aricept...that used to really have terrible emotional side effects.
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I see the same in my 90 yr old mom, sleeps alot, some boardom, some she loves being in bed,its warm. Some demensia, hard time paying attention to movies , tv show, conversation. She goes to a sr center adult day program tuesday & thursday, they keep her awake & doing stuff 10am to 2:30 then she is really tired & does the 2 naps the days after. She actually calls herself the baby now because she sleeps so much and other things, we don't even mind that she eats some of her food with her fingers, the fork is too much work. It is a different side of life seeing her this old, especially since I'm 35 yrs younger, but its OK too, just part of life.
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My mom is on her own schedule. She lives with me. She sleeps a lot during the day and I leave her alone. The only time I wake her is to check on her or call her to Dinner. She has a rough time trying to sleep at night. She appears to be sleeping well but I believe she is hurting and etc that interupts her sleep when does finally go to sleep. Then she is up for coffee and meds and back to bed. She can't stay up for very long periods of time. When she needs to lay down, I let her lay down. She is 78 and has earned the right to sleep whenever she wants to. So as long as it is ok with her doctor, I leave her alone about it.
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Basically, older seniors are a lot like young children, they use up their energy in spurts, then recharge. They may not appear to be burning energy, but it takes a lot more effort for their bodies to function so the energy burns faster. The hardest part of caring for seniors is their inability to sleep for long periods at night, and for some reason, if they're up, the only time they don't (intentionally) wake you is when they're into some kind of mischief! If you are a stay at home caregiver it's not so bad if you can catch a couple of naps while they are napping, but, if you are working this can be problematic. I found that taking them out for an hour or so in the evening helps to tire them out enough that they will stay down for 6-7 hours. When I say, taking them out, I mean to dinner, a walk after dinner, some local church or community activity, etc. If they are at home during the day, it's hard to keep them from napping, but it's worth a try. Let them have a morning, or brief afternoon nap, then find something to keep them engaged during the afternoon, and then try the 'out in the evening' trick to keep them up until bedtime. I think that the most important thing, once medical/medication problems have been eliminated, acceptance is the best thing for both of you. Seniors, with or without, dementia are very good at picking up moods; if you're anxious about it, it will make them anxious as well.
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My dementia husband also sleeps lots. He sleeps thru nite very well, talks in sleep around 5am but never wakes unless bathrm then eats a choc chip cookie, back to sleep. I have awakened him at 4pm several times. The doc said whats the matter w/sleep. I get him up if I must to go somewhere & slowly we get dressed, no complaints from him. Lots of same questions. Much better than being up complaining. He turned from lion to lamb.
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my mom is 94 and is well and has the same sleep pattern. She isn't on medication.
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I would rather have an elder napping than running around in a demented frenzy, that is a sure way to burn out any caregiver
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I agree- my father was early 90s and slept probably 18 hours a day- bed, recliner, bed, recliner, etc. Wasn't medication/depression- he was fairly happy- seems like his body/mind (Alz/dementia) was wearing down and it was what his body needed.
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All sounds about average, my dad is 84 and sleeps about 10-12 hours at night and naps through out the day.
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