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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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It depends on her age and condition. Good advice above as well. My mom is 91 and I believe sleeps probably 16 hrs a day at least. Part of it is boredom and lack of activity and interaction -- then she sits in her chair and doses in and out. Secondly, she doesn't have restful night-time sleep -- so she falls into a deeper sleep early in the evening and then early in the mornings.

It is difficult for her to watch TV, read, follow a movie, etc. because she has some dementia and doesn't have the attention span or ability to follow a story line; therefore more time sitting around and dosing, reminicing in her mind, etc.

I wouldn't be concerned if she is older and in good health unless this is a marked change in behavior.
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Over medications are one possibility, and I would make sure the doctor checks her TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) because having a high TSH causes one to have hypothyroidism which makes one very tired even though they sleep a lot. This nap in the afternoon could be cut to one hour, get her up and have some activity. Lying horizontal (like sleeping) too much is not good for the kidneys which can cause a urinary tract infection. What does her doctor say?
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Credit: © M. Kempski for the above quotes.
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Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint at any age. It affects almost half of adults 60 and older, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Old people are known to be lousy sleepers, but a new study suggests it might all be in their heads, at least for many of them. Medications, poor health, bad bedtime habits (such as watching a movie or drinking coffee or booze), circadian rhythms, and too much or too little in their personal "sleep bank" have all taken the blame for seniors' common complaints of insomnia.

Elizabeth Klerman of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School set out to clear it up once and for all with a controlled study of 18 subjects ages 60 to 76 and 35 younger subjects, ages 18 to 32, all healthy and not on medication that might affect sleep. Even people who had crossed more than one time zone in the past 3 months were disqualified, as well as those who had worked night or rotating shifts in the past three years. After monitoring their sleep at home, the subjects were regularly instructed to lie quietly with their eyes closed and to try to sleep, for as much as 16 hours daily for several days in a row. They had all the time in the world. The bottom line was that the seniors simply needed less sleep — about 1.5 hours less.

Circadian rhythms and preferences
The results are detailed online in the July 24 issue of the journal Current Biology. Younger subjects slept for an average of 9 hours compared to 7.5 for older people, said Klerman and her colleague Derk-Jan Dijk of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in England.
The age-related decline in sleep included an even split between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, associated with dreaming, and non-REM sleep, Klerman said. Klerman and Dijk kept subjects in conditions that controlled for circadian rhythms by allowing the chance to sleep during both the night and the day and by controlling individual choices in sleep opportunities.

While humans sometimes cannot sleep when tired, there is no evidence that they can sleep when they are not tired, Klerman explained.

Insomnia and expectations The results have implications for seniors who think they have insomnia. "There are definitely older people with insomnia," Klerman told LiveScience. "However there may also be some older people who 'create' insomnia if they believe that they 'need' 8 to 9 hours of sleep and therefore spend more time in bed (lying awake) than needed to achieve the amount of sleep 'needed.'"

"It's also possible that they sleep less even when given the opportunity for more sleep because of age-related changes in the ability to fall asleep and remain asleep," she added, noting that the new results apply only to healthy individuals taking no medication and having no medical conditions or sleep disorders.

The study also found that most healthy people, and young people in particular, don't get as much sleep as they need. Given the evidence that insufficient sleep is associated with increased risk of accidents, errors, decreased learning and immune function, and metabolic changes similar to diabetes, Klerman encouraged younger people to sleep more than they currently do.
Ages of sleep:The idea that our sleep habits change markedly across the life span isn't new. The same study found another age effect: Given the same amount of time in bed, older people take longer to fall asleep.

The researchers set 60 years old as the starting point for their older subjects to ensure a clear distinction from the younger group, but it is possible that the declining capacity to sleep could reach back into the middle-age years too, Klerman said.

"My expectation is that the change is gradual and there is no time point at which we 'age,'" she said. "Sleep changes from infancy, through childhood, puberty, young adulthood and middle-age until we die."

Needless medications? The findings may also influence treatment for insomnia in older people and provoke novel approaches, such as exercise, new pharmaceuticals or ocular light therapy, Klerman said. "If older people believe that they need more sleep than they can achieve even when they spend extra time in bed, then they may complain of insomnia: being awake when wanting to be asleep. They may start using medications needlessly," Klerman said.

However, if seniors are tired during the day, they should consider an evaluation for a sleep disorder that may be interfering with their ability to obtain good sleep at night. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dijk is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom and Wellcome Trust
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My dad at 89 calls nap time "happy hour", but it usually lasts more than an hour. He takes a morning nap, an afternoon nap, and multiple "cat-naps" throughout the day sitting in his recliner. Dr. said not to worry about it. Mom at 85 sleeps less and thinks she needs to keep dad awake more. Says he'll sleep better. but when he has a day where he doesn't get his rest, the same is true for the night. Lots of wakefullness due to aches and pains. I think perhaps they don't sleep well at night so they play "catch up" during the day.
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My mom has days where she only gets up when I wake her to eat. Then other days, she's up and about almost all day. There is no patern to it. Doctor said at 88, let her do what she wants.
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Perhaps she is over medicated. Talk to the MD
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