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Doctor insights on: Elderly Sleeping All Day

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Elderly male sleeping up to 16 hrs/day, misses out on breakfast, lunch. Usually eats a lot of food at dinner, but still losing weight. Reasons?

Elderly male sleeping up to 16 hrs/day, misses out on breakfast, lunch.  Usually eats a lot of food at dinner, but still losing weight.  Reasons?

Inadequate nutrition: When evaluating weight loss, we start w/basics: Can they afford food? Is that person getting enough to eat? Eating a lot of food at dinner may not make up for missed calories from 2 meals. We also want to assess ability to chew & swallow food. In this case, I'd also want to find out why he's sleeping 16hrs/d, which is twice avg am't. After that, then we look for hyperthyroidism, cancer & other dz ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
4,799 doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more


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I'd heard the elderly have trouble sleeping, why did my parents sleep 14 hours each day?

I'd heard the elderly have trouble sleeping, why did my parents sleep 14 hours each day?

All are not the same: Everyone's a little different. Also, medications can increase (or decrease) need for sleep. ...Read more

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How many hours of sleep per 24hr does an elderly person need? 92 walks. Makes many loud breathing sounds at night but asleep; cat naps during the day

How many hours of sleep per 24hr does an elderly person need? 92 walks. Makes many loud breathing  sounds at night but asleep; cat naps during the day

She sleeps whenever: The amount of sleep may not change but habbit of sleep will over time. When young, u have to work and have other responsibilties to accomplish during day, thus needing to sleep at night. At 92, she does not have to get up early, so sleeps whenever she wants, naps whenever convenient. As long as she feels well and active when up, she is fine. She got to 92! she sleeps when she needs it! :-)). ...Read more

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Is elderly people actually get the same amount of sleep or only slightly less sleep than they got when younger?

Is elderly people actually get the same amount of sleep or only slightly less sleep than they got when younger?

Paradoxically: We need less sleep as we age. Nobody knows why because we do not understand the mechanism of sleep, even though we die without it. ...Read more

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Why do the elderly sleep for so long?

Why do the elderly sleep for so long?

Elderly: Elderly need the same amount of sleep normal adults need, however their sleep efficiency decreases and they wake up frequently, also boredom, loneliness can cause them to sleep more and feel depressed. Please give them lots of love and attention, talking daily, spending time with them, doing activities, love, warmth and care will go a long way to help them feel better. ...Read more

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Can an elderly sleep after hitting head?

Can an elderly sleep after hitting head?

If the person has : Signs of serious head injury - they should be medically evaluated. Otherwise they can go to sleep if they desire. Possible concussion sxs: + or – loss of consciousness, headache / pressure, can't recall event, dizziness, v coordination, ringing in ears, confusion, slurred speech, nausea / vomiting ; fatigue. For concussion seek medical care. Seek urgent treatment for loss of consciousness, >>. ...Read more

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How much sleep do elderly people need?

How much sleep do elderly people need?

Varies ~7+/-hrs: While we typically think of elderly as needing less sleep, answer to your question really depends upon many factors. For instance, how old is old? Any underlying medical conditions and/or medications? Prior sleep disorders? Bottom line, quality of sleep is probably at least as important if not more so than quantity. And rather than ask/answer general question, ask individual if they got enough sle ...Read more

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Can an elderly person try polyphasic sleeping, would it be healthy?

Can an elderly person try polyphasic sleeping, would it be healthy?

Sleep: Elderly people need the same amount of sleep in 24 hours just as normal adults. Although they have more altered homeostatic and circadian drives due to multiple factors. Not sure what the term polyphasic refers to exactly. ...Read more

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Is it common for the elderly to develop obstructive sleep apnea?

Is it common for the elderly to develop obstructive sleep apnea?

More likely: As we get older the risk of sleep apnea increases. Especially if we gain some weight and as we age our muscles that hold the throat open tend to relax. ...Read more

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