My dad begins to have slow hand and arm movements almost as soon as he begins to fall asleep. Why? - AgingCare.com

My dad begins to have slow hand and arm movements almost as soon as he begins to fall asleep. Why?

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It usually starts with his left arm and he will raise it slowly like he is getting something out of the air. Then he will bring the other arm up to meet it. Usually he will then put his two hands together and bring them down and look as if he is doing something like threading a needle or probably to him something to do with fishing.
This happens within a few minutes of falling asleep but he isn't breathing like he is sleeping.
Sometimes he will move his hands to his mouth like he is eating a something. Then move his hands back and work some more and then bring his hand back to his mouth to eat.
Is this dream related? when he hasn't even been asleep long enough to dream yet?

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Sleep is an odd thing as we age, I'm no specialist but I have seen a lot of my elderly relatives do similar things. I believe the abiilty to determine "sleep" from memory and day dreaming is diminished. Often "my elderly" tell me they thought they saw animals in the yard, favorite pets appeared, that they had vivid memories of fishing or hiking in their favorite places. "It seemed so real..." is what they usually say. Sometimes these real-seeming dreams scared them, especially if they knew they should be asleep.

My Mom began talking in her sleep about 4 years ago. She sleeps much longer than she used to as well so I wonder if she is not getting in to deep REM sleep as easily. As long as she was comfortable, able to do what she could, ate and drank enough - I left her alone. She's in a nursing home now and does call out sometimes in her sleep. The regimented schedule means the staff gets her up earlier than she'd like, she naps after breakfast and goes to bed early - about 9pm. I'd rather she be left to sleep when she wants but the environment - having to care for multiple people - just won't run smoothly if everyone is doing their own thing. I also think it helps keep Mom and others on a more even keel if they have a schedule.
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