If you’re the parent of an aging loved one, then you might have noticed that they sleep a lot more than they used to when they were younger. If you’re wondering why some aging loved ones sleep a lot, then this article can help shed some light on why your parent or grandparent might be so sleepy and what you can do about it. What are the common causes of excessive sleep in the elderly? We’ll look at several reasons adults in their golden years are sleeping more than usual and what you can do about it!
Changes in Circadian Rhythm
Like it or not, our bodies are programmed to do certain things at certain times. The desire for sleep is just one of those things—like when we eat and go to the bathroom. Sleep is strongly linked to our body’s circadian rhythm, which naturally slows down in our 50s and 60s. Circadian rhythms govern all sorts of activities in our bodies, from metabolism to body temperature regulation and sleep/wake cycles.
Poor Regulation of Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone released by our brains that helps regulate sleep. Usually, it’s produced in greater amounts as we enter deeper stages of sleep; however, people who suffer from sleeplessness tend to produce more melatonin even while they’re awake. As a result, they don’t reach deep sleep as easily and often have trouble falling asleep at night. Talk to your doctor about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address an issue like melatonin regulation or another form of poor sleep regulation; talk to your doctor about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Insufficient Sleep at Night
Insufficient sleep at night, also called sleep deprivation, is one of the most common causes of excessive sleep in Golden-aged people. Not only can it cause aging loved ones to feel sleepy throughout their days, but it may be linked to cognitive impairment and dementia. In other words, not getting enough shut-eye can have a direct impact on your long-term health and quality of life as you age. If you notice your elderly loved one sleeping a lot more than usual, ask them about how well they’re sleeping at night. Then talk with their doctor about exploring potential solutions for restoring healthy sleep habits.
As we age, our metabolism changes and our eating habits change. This can lead to problems such as obesity, which is a risk factor for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you have one or more pauses in breathing during sleep. If you have sleep apnea, you may feel like you can never catch your breath no matter how hard you try. Sleep apnea can cause aging loved ones to develop depression or become oxygen-deficient, leading to memory loss and confusion. To help prevent excessive sleeping, eat a healthy diet high in fiber and low in fat. Speak with your doctor about whether or not some supplements would help balance your hormones.
Lack of Exercise
Exercise can counteract feelings of sleepiness by stimulating your brain; studies have shown that people who exercise regularly tend to get more sleep than those who don’t. If you’re looking for a way to combat a lack of sleep, it might be time to re-evaluate your fitness routine. It could be as simple as adding some extra steps each day or something like getting up and doing some stretches before bed. You may be surprised at how much difference it makes in your overall energy levels and concentration ability throughout your day.