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.
Adults (18-64): 7-9 hours. Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours.
The most common causes of excessive daytime sleepiness are sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnea, and sedating medications. Other potential causes of excessive daytime sleepiness include certain medical and psychiatric conditions and sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy.
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.
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.
Compared with younger adults, the elderly spend more time in bed but have deterioration in both the quality and quantity of sleep. All of these changes can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, which in turn can lead to intentional and unintentional napping.
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.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, excessive sleeping may lead you to experience the following symptoms:
It’s important to remember that oversleeping is a possible symptom of depression and that oversleeping doesn’t cause depression. But it can exacerbate and worsen depression symptoms, Dr. Drerup explains. “If someone’s oversleeping, they may wake up and feel like they’ve missed out on the day,” she says.
“Long sleepers” are people who regularly sleep more than the average person their age. As adults, their nightly length of sleep tends to be 10 to 12 hours. This sleep is very normal and of a good quality. It is simply much longer than most people because of their natural biological clock.
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.
That’s because your body needs to be properly hydrated to feel energized and function optimally. Here’s what happens when you’re dehydrated: As dehydration sets in, your blood pressure drops, leading to poor circulation and reduced blood flow to your brain. This causes feelings of sleepiness.
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.
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.