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Doctor insights on: Why Do The Elderly Sleep So Much

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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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