Seniors, like babies, tend to sleep much more than people in their 20’s-60’s. It seems to be a natural progression and thing that happens to almost everyone when they start to get towards a certain age.
However, you shouldn’t just accept this as a normal course of life, there is often a reason for it and ways to prevent it.
There are a few reasons that can cause seniors to sleep more:
Boredom – Many seniors spend their days doing nothing but sitting. They will sit and read the occasional book or magazine, watch a bit of TV and then have regular naps. There seems to be a common correlation between how active or how many “interests” a senior has and how often they take naps.
For example, if you maintain a high level of interests, hobbies and activities, it is less likely that you will nap or sleep – you are always busy doing things, keeping active and keeping your brain active as well.
If you don’t have any hobbies or interests or things that you do regularly to keep your mind active, you are much more likely to do nothing – thus becoming bored and falling asleep.
One of the keys to maintaining an “un-bored” lifestyle is to have a variety of hobbies and interests that you enjoy. Most seniors will say “I am too old to start a new hobby or interest” but you know what? It is NEVER too late for ANYTHING!
You can see a variety of life-changing situations in which someone has senior parents or family members or friends, and their life has been turned around into a more interesting and “less bored” one, even by the smallest change. Something as simple as investing in a new piece of technology like a tablet or desktop computer, showing them the wonders of the sheer volume of any information at their fingertips, is enough to motivate most out of boredom.
Medication – many seniors are prescribed medication that cause drowsiness. Changing the medication routine can be a pro-active step in avoiding sleepiness. For example, if a one-a-day medication causes severe drowsiness and causes sleeping, most tend to take tablets in the morning when they get up with breakfast. Taking that particular medication in the evening will induce the drowsiness at a time that is just right – just before bed time!
Obviously it is important to read leaflets and information about each type of medication that your senior family member/friend might be taking. You can also consult your GP – if a multitude of medications are taken, by moving around the taking times, it can help reduce that drowsy feeling. A GP can recommend this for you if you explain about the excessive sleeping.
- If you notice a sudden increase in the amount of sleeping someone is doing during the day, it is definitely worth consulting your GP.
- Sleeping or excessive napping during the day in seniors is common, but should never just be accepted. If you or the person you are caring about want to stop this, then you can do something about it!
- Keep active – keep physically active (as much as you can), keep your mind stimulated, engage in conversations and social situations regularly to keep the brain working.