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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
5,051 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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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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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 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 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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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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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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How much sleep should the elderly have? Are afternoon naps ok?

How much sleep should the elderly have? Are afternoon naps ok?

Sleep: Regardless of age if a nap in the afternoon is needed it should be taken. As long as you wake up refreshed there is no need to be concerned. ...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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Is alteril (otc sleep aid) safe for the elderly?

Is alteril (otc sleep aid) safe for the elderly?

I wouldn't take it: I bet there are two sides to the story. Some that would rave and others that would tread it with their feet. In your case, when the range of feedback is so conflicting and you cannot really have anyone responsible for whatever may happen to you, I would not experiment. There are so many other natural ways to induce sleep, although, they may not be as effective as prescription type drugs. ...Read more

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Anyone know a web site where you can find out about sleep disorders in elderly?

Anyone know a web site where you can find out about sleep disorders in elderly?

Wikipedia: It would be surprising if wikipedia does not give you this information. ...Read more

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Is it true that elderly people couldn't sleep alot at night or it is a special case? &how much should a 52 woman sleep (she have diabetes type 2)? thnx

Is it true that elderly people couldn't sleep alot at night or it is a special case? &how much should a 52 woman sleep (she have diabetes type 2)? thnx

Sleep.: It is true that the regularity and efficiency of the sleep wake cycle folders in elderly people. They often lose their circadian rhythm. Generally speaking, it would be wise for people to try to get 6 to 9 hours of sleep nightly. ...Read more

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What would happen if an elderly person is given a sleeping pill but hides it under tongue?

What would happen if an elderly person is given a sleeping pill but hides it under tongue?

Sleep: Your doctor needs to be informed. Might substitute with liquid form or crushed pill. ...Read more

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Questions on end-of-life care at home: who approves it? Do they do autopsy? Who do you call if you find an elderly person died in sleep?

Questions on end-of-life care at home: who approves it? Do they do autopsy? Who do you call if you find an elderly person died in sleep?

Difficult?: If a person is found alone, it depends on the state, but in most states an autopsy is required and you should call 911 if the person is found dead alone. If a person desires to die at home, that is usually their choice if they are capable of making those decisions. If not and it is their desire and have advanced directives, then the decisions rest with their power of attorneys and finances. ...Read more

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What are some techniques to help elderly calm their mind of racing thoughts and stress to get better sleep?

What are some techniques to help elderly calm their mind of racing thoughts and stress to get better sleep?

Elderly Health: Consult with your doctor to rule out any medical issues. Take daily walks, even if it is for short distances, make sure your nutrition is healthy, focusing on a plant based diet. Confide in those close to you about your concerns, don't keep your troubles to yourself. If your still troubled consult a mental health professional who specializes in geriatric care. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Elderly pt w/dementia, has been sleeping a lot more lately and may have difficulty opening eyes. Reasons?

Elderly pt w/dementia, has been sleeping a lot more lately and may have difficulty opening eyes. Reasons?

Droopy eyes: Droopy eyes may be a sign of myasthenia gravis and you should have it looked into make a consult with me. ...Read more

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Could lack of sleep cause an elderly person to talk constantly, saying random words and phrases even if no one is in the room?

Could lack of sleep cause an elderly person to talk constantly, saying random words and phrases even if no one is in the room?

Sleep deprivation: Sleep deprivation can affect moods, as well as added effect of medications & medical illnesses. Refer to my previous answer regarding effects of sleep deprivation. ...Read more

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Elderly dementia male excessive sleeping, no breakfast or lunch, losing weight. Drank 32 oz milkshake, 1/2 sandwich, little soup, water. Enuf food?

Elderly dementia male excessive sleeping, no breakfast or lunch, losing weight. Drank 32 oz milkshake, 1/2 sandwich, little soup, water. Enuf food?

Poor nutrition in: The diet you mention, not the amount that is the real issue. Please see a nutritionist who can help you create a good food plan. Every meal needs to contain protein, fats, and carbs. Lots of good fats helpful to the brain. These are things like olive oil, coconut oil. Check w/doc first. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Can lack of sleep for days cause symptoms that can mimic dementia in elderly? (hallucinations & delusions)

Can lack of sleep for days cause symptoms that can mimic dementia in elderly? (hallucinations & delusions)

Absolutely: Yes, it's dangerous. If it's that bad, you must see a doctor to get it treated. Hallucinations aren't just fun and games. They can cause you to do dangerous things. Lack of sleep is quite unhealthy and can cause severe problems if it goes on for too long. ...Read more

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Elderly grandma has hbp and CHF & has trouble sleeping. She has become very emotional and doesn't make sense. What would calm her safely?

Elderly grandma has hbp and CHF & has trouble sleeping. She has become very emotional and doesn't make sense. What would calm her safely?

Delirium?: Your grandma needs an urgent assessment with her primary care physician. The mental status changes you describe (sleep disturbance, very emotional, and "doesn't make sense") are consistent with delirium, a confusional state caused by many kinds of medical problems including medication reactions -- but you list no meds. Treatment requires correcting the underlying cause. ...Read more

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Elderly pt w/broken knee cap. Sleeping excessively at SNF. Can use of pain killers cause excessive sleep? If so, what kind of pain killers are it?

Elderly pt w/broken knee cap. Sleeping excessively at SNF. Can use of pain killers cause excessive sleep? If so, what kind of pain killers are it?

Pain relievers: There are several common types of pain killers, ranging from acetaminophen/paracetamol to NSAIDs to tramadol to opioids. Side effects of the last 2 include sedation & sleepiness. Plus death in overdose. Acetaminophen can be bad for liver in excess while NSAIDs are worrisome for kidney disease & stomach ulcers. Best to discuss w/patient's doctor. ...Read more

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Elderly dementia pt not excessively sleeping prior to going to a SNF but now is. Reasons? Had surgery for broken knee cap. On pain killers.

Elderly dementia pt not excessively sleeping prior to going to a SNF but now is. Reasons? Had surgery for broken knee cap. On pain killers.

Discuss w/attending: Chat w/attending physician & express your concerns about change in status. Review medications looking for ones that show up on Beers list (https://www. Scanhealthplan. Com/media/1743/printablebeerspocketcard. Pdf) - excess opioids can cause confusion & sedation. Review labs. Since knee caps don't typically break spontaneously but as result of trauma, consider repeat head CT for subdural hematoma ...Read more

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Elderly grandma (88) frequently falls asleep in her chair during the day. Is this normal?

Elderly grandma (88) frequently falls asleep in her chair during the day. Is this normal?

Gramma: At this age, having blood pressure issues & being on BP medications, that is expected. Relax. ...Read more

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What is better for an elderly person to take to stay asleep through the night - liquid melatonin or a tablet?

What is better for an elderly person to take to stay asleep through the night - liquid melatonin or a tablet?

Melatonin: Usually liquid form is easier to take in, at lowest dose possible (can be titrated down to less than 1 mg. Doses). ...Read more

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Elderly dementia male now sleeps 12+ hrs/day. What could this signify? Not walking around as much.

Elderly dementia male now sleeps 12+ hrs/day. What could this signify? Not walking around as much.

Responses: Presume you are 60 and the "elderly male" is much older. The sleep is in part OK if it is at nite, but not so good if during day. You need to assess if this is due to his medications or even ingestion of alcohol. Dementia progression can result in apathy, withdrawal, loss of mobility, and incontinence. Have your doctor reassess. ...Read more

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Suddenly, my elderly mother is confused, cannot manage toileting, no short term memory, sleeps excessively. Why?

Suddenly, my elderly mother is confused, cannot manage toileting, no short term memory, sleeps excessively. Why?

Sudden confusion: The symptoms you describe could represent delirium due to an acute medical problem. It is also possible that there is an underlying dementia or other brain illness. It sounds like an evaluation by your mom's doctor is in order. ...Read more