What Causes Excessive Sleep in the Elderly? Sleep deprivation is the most common cause of daytime sleepiness. This can be caused by something as simple as a too-warm room, too much coffee during the day or achy joints at night. Sometimes daytime fatigue stems from boredom.
Around 20% of older people experience excessive daytime sleepiness, which may be a sign of an underlying health condition rather than merely old age. Excessive daytime sleepiness in older adults may be a symptom of health issues like sleep apnea, cognitive impairment, or cardiovascular issues.
Sleeping more and more is a common feature of later-stage dementia. As the disease progresses, the damage to a person’s brain becomes more extensive and they gradually become weaker and frailer over time.
Adults (18-64): 7-9 hours. Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours.
Most healthy older adults age 65 or older need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to feel rested and alert. But as you age, your sleep patterns may change. These changes can cause insomnia, or trouble sleeping.
The most common causes of excessive sleepiness are sleep deprivation and disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. Depression and other psychiatric problems, certain medications, and medical conditions affecting the brain and body can cause daytime drowsiness as well.
Sleeping excessively is a common feature of later-stage dementia. The reason for the excess sleepiness may be one of the following: As the disease progresses, the brain damage becomes more extensive, and the patient wants to just lie down.
Experts suggest that signs of the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease include some of the following: Being unable to move around on one’s own. Being unable to speak or make oneself understood. Needing help with most, if not all, daily activities, such as eating and self-care. 5
Progressive brain cell death will eventually cause the digestive system, lungs, and heart to fail, meaning that dementia is a terminal condition. Studies suggest that, on average, someone will live around ten years following a dementia diagnosis.
Daytime sleepiness is very common among elderly people. Sometimes it’s just a sign of interrupted nighttime sleeping due to poor sleep habits, an uncomfortable environment, the aches and pains of aging or a side effect of medications.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, excessive sleeping may lead you to experience the following symptoms:
What Causes Oversleeping?
The “right” amount of sleep proves somewhat individual as some people will feel great on seven hours and others may need a little longer. However, in most studies and for most experts, over nine hours is considered an excessive or long amount of sleep for adults.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, older adults normally need anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Some sleep experts suggest sleeping a bit longer is better for someone like an 80-year-old man.