Common Causes of Daytime Sleepiness in Seniors

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It’s common for elderly people to sleep more during the day and wake up frequently during the night. However, these habits can harm their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Below are some reasons your senior loved one might be sleeping more during the day and ways to address each cause.

Memory Problems

Older adults living with conditions such as dementia can have a higher risk of daytime sleepiness than seniors without neurological disorders. The memory problems associated with such conditions make it difficult to differentiate between night and day due to poor brain functioning. As a result, aging adults with dementia might sleep more during the day and less at night. To manage this issue, find fun activities that keep your loved one active during the day, and develop a good nighttime routine that makes him or her feel safe, secure, and more amenable to sleep. A good bedtime routine includes avoiding beverages, providing comfortable temperatures, and turning off background lighting or noises. If your loved one is excessively tired or sleepy during the day, he or she may need assistance with the tasks of everyday living. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.


Negative emotions can overtake seniors and cause them to sleep more each day. These emotions may be caused by the loss of loved ones, a negative health diagnosis, financial stress, or chemical changes in the brain. Regardless of why your parent is depressed, it’s necessary to find ways to manage it to enhance his or her mental health and lower the odds of other conditions that impact hormones and sleeping patterns. A few excellent ways to reduce depression and enhance your loved one’s sleeping habits include: • Encouraging fun activities • Increasing the numbers of family visits • Learning how to find the positives in all situations There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Cedar Falls families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Poor Eating Habits

The food seniors eat can give them more energy and lead to better sleeping patterns at night. It could also eliminate the need for unnecessary naps during the day, which is why you should encourage your parent to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other nutrients. These foods can boost brain functioning, reduce fatigue, and lower the odds of anxiety and depression. The nutrients your loved one should consume regularly include magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D. In addition to poor eating habits, drinking sugary beverages or alcohol can cause seniors to sleep more during the day. The ingredients in these drinks could make seniors feel sluggish in the daytime and cause sleep disruptions at night.

Effects of Medication

Many seniors take multiple prescriptions to treat various conditions, such as high blood pressure, anxiety, allergies, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Although the medications can help with those health problems, they can also cause extreme fatigue and excessive daytime sleeping. Monitor your parent’s resting patterns after he or she takes medications. If you notice your loved one napping for long periods during the day, particularly after taking a dose, inform his or her primary care physician. The doctor can recommend a new plan that treats the medical condition without causing increased fatigue. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Cedar Falls, IA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at 319-260-2222.


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