Why Does It Seem Like Older People Need More Sleep?

We all know some elderly people, whether it’s someone in the family, or a friend, and it seems like they sleep a lot. Sometimes it seems like they sleep all day, but is that really the case, or are they missing out on their nighttime sleep instead? These are interesting questions with answers and researchers have done testing to get to the facts. Here is some information you can use if you think your elderly friend is sleeping all day.

Do The Elderly Really Need More, or Less Sleep

Researchers have done the testing and came to the conclusion that seven to nine hours per day is what they need. That is the same amount that nearly everyone else needs too. So what gives? Why is grandma drifting off to sleep all day long? The answer is not surprising, and there are lots of different solutions as well.

The first problem is that many elderly people don’t get the proper sleep at night. There maybe many reasons for this and sometimes an expert needs to be brought in to diagnose the real problem. Many aged people stay up late at night and watch TV, then don’t get enough hours of sleep in.

Also, there are a large number of people of all ages, that use alcohol to help them drift off to sleep each evening. The problem with that is, alcohol induced sleep isn’t as deep and cleansing as regular sleep. Plus, with alcohol, many times it causes a spike in blood sugar when all of that alcohol gets converted to sugar in the liver. That causes people to wake up around 4 AM and not be able to go back to sleep for hours. It’s best to avoid all alcohol if you’re having sleep problems.

Some Medications Cause Drowsiness

There are a ton of different medications that many people take that will cause drowsiness all day long. Some medications are twice as prone to causing drowsiness when mixed with other medications. Check with a doctor and get all of the drug interactions for every medication you take, or your elderly friend takes, there may possibly be more than several bad interactions between drugs.

Also, mixing alcohol with some drugs will multiply their side effects, make sure you mention any alcohol use to the doctor as well.

Snoring Should Be Explored

There are several major causes of snoring and most of them get worse with age. People that are overweight have extra heavy tongues and cheeks so they have problems breathing at night. These people usually suffer from some level of sleep apnea. This is a fairly common, yet somewhat dangerous, affliction where people don’t breathe properly when they sleep and snore.

Then, people with sleep apnea will nod off all day long because they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night. This may be the case even though they are in bed 10 hours per night, they still aren’t getting the proper deep sleep that their brain needs to function during the day. If you know someone that snores loudly, this is an important condition to check for. It should also be noted that drinking alcohol before bed can make sleep apnea worse by over relaxing the tongue.

Exercise Can Relieve Many Sleep Problems

Unfortunately, most people, of all ages, don’t really get enough exercise. That usually gets worse with age and people get more sedentary, spend more time sitting, and possibly have more physical problems walking.

Everyone, young and old, would get a great benefit from spending a certain number of hours each day just walking. Study after study shows that all of us would live longer, and healthier, with just a 30 minute vigorous walk every single day. It’s also believed that people that exercise daily sleep better, by far, than those that don’t and there is no reason why everyone shouldn’t get their 30 minutes in, every single day.