Your mom likes to nap in the afternoon. She’s often up late in the morning and goes to bed later at night. How normal is this?
Men and women do find their sleep patterns change as they age. It’s harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. While it’s ideal to get eight hours of sleep each night, older adults may find seven hours become the norm. When they wake, it can seem like it happens all at once and is jarring.
Another issue is that older adults tend to enjoy less of the deep, dreamless sleep. They dream more and wake every few hours. Some can drift back to sleep, but others struggle to get back to sleep after they’ve been awake and that impacts the quality of sleep.
If you fear your mom is sleeping too much, make sure she’s not depressed. Sleeping a lot and insomnia are two of the ways depression presents itself in older adults. You should also talk to her doctor to make sure the medications she takes are not affecting her sleep.
What Can She Do?
If she’s suffering from constant insomnia, she could be dealing with depression. She needs to talk to her doctor. Depression isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. It’s common and can be due to the loss of a spouse, loneliness and isolation, chronic health conditions, and many other factors.
Changing her routine may help. If she is an afternoon napper, she needs to set an alarm. A quick 30-minute nap will be better than a two-hour one.
She needs to make sure she’s active during the day. Daily walks for at least 30 minutes are ideal. Time out in the sun and fresh air help.
Eating dinner earlier is ideal. If she eats a full dinner at 7 p.m. and is in bed for 9 p.m., food may not have digested enough to prevent heartburn or acid reflux when she lies down. That makes it hard to sleep.
If she’s waking up at night needing to go to the bathroom, drinking sips of water closer to bedtime will help. She needs to switch away from full glasses of water before bed and focus on the bulk of her hydration up until dinner.
Consider Homecare Services
She may not have enough to do, and boredom is causing her frequent naps and less typical sleep pattern. With homecare services, you can ease some of this. She’ll have homecare aides around to play games with, talk to, and help her stay active. That can help her sleep patterns. Call our homecare agency to make arrangements.