What do you do if your dad is suddenly sleeping 10 or 12 hours a day? You’re not sure you should be concerned or if it’s fine. Can a person get too much sleep?
Current recommendations are that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. That’s the general guideline. Some people do need more sleep than others, and some do function well on less. That’s what’s most important.
If your dad is getting 10 hours of sleep every day and isn’t showing signs of health issues, don’t panic. He could just need more sleep than the average person. If he’s getting more sleep than necessary and still seems to be exhausted during the day, there may be something else going on.
Insomnia and Older Adults
Your dad may be in his bedroom, but he may not be sleeping. Prescription medications, arthritis pain, anxiety, and depression are common reasons for insomnia as you age.
Check your dad’s prescription bottles. See if there are side effects like troubles with sleeping patterns. Some antidepressants, decongestants, and steroids can lead to insomnia. If he is on a medication that can cause insomnia, talk to his doctor to see if there’s a second option with fewer or different side effects.
Depression can be hard to see. People may associate depression as extreme sadness, but the warning signs are often things like confusion, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and withdrawal from others and activities. People who are depressed can also find it hard to get out of bed and maintain usual routines.
If arthritis pain in the knees, hips, or other areas of the body wakes your dad up, it may be hard for him to get back to sleep. Pain relievers only last so long. Talk to his doctor for other ideas on relieving arthritis pain so that the relief lasts all night.
When Do You Worry?
When should you worry about too much sleep? If your dad’s sleep is keeping him from doing other activities like taking his daily prescription medications, eating meals, drinking enough water, or exercising, it’s a problem.
Your dad can’t let his need for sleep from impacting his daily activities of living. If it does, it’s worth taking a closer look at his habits. Is he waking at night to go to the bathroom and finding it hard to fall back to sleep after turning on lights in the hallway and bathroom?
If that’s an issue, floor-level lights that illuminate enough area for him to safely walk may help. In the bathroom, a lighted toilet seat helps him avoid turning on lights.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to his doctor. Some simple changes like daily exercise and some dietary changes may be all he needs to sleep through the night. If you struggle to stop by each day to make sure he’s gone for a walk outside, caregivers are the solution you need.
Your dad will have senior care aides stopping by as often as he needs to accompany him on walks. You can also ask senior care aides to drive him to follow-up appointments with his doctor to make sure he’s okay.
If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Carmichael, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.