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What Makes Older Adults with Parkinson’s Spend a Lot of Time Sleeping?

Sleep problems are a well-known issue in the senior community, since many older adults wake up during the night. Yet you might be surprised to discover sleep issues can also fall into another category. Excessive sleeping is an issue seniors with Parkinson’s often face. If your elderly loved one is constantly trying to nap or has difficulty getting up in the morning, it helps to understand why this might be happening.

Types of Parkinson’s-Related Sleep Problems

There are several different ways Parkinson’s can interfere with sleep. Parkinson’s disease is marked by changes in the brain. These changes can disrupt the normal sleep cycles people go through each night. When these cycles are disrupted, your loved one might have difficulty falling asleep or wake up after a short sleep cycle feeling completely awake in the middle of the night. In some cases, Parkinson’s disease can cause people to move more throughout the night. You might hear your loved one call out or even thrash around while dreaming. These issues could cause your loved one to feel exhausted during the day.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Things that Contribute to Fatigue

There are other things that can make seniors with Parkinson’s feel tired. Your loved one’s involuntary muscle movements could cause him or her to experience physical fatigue that’s similar to how he or she would feel after exercising for hours. Parkinson’s medications can also have fatigue as a side effect. Seniors who have other conditions, such as frequent nighttime urination, are at greater risk for wanting to sleep outside normal resting hours due to the combination of events that disrupt their sleep.

Dangers of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Many seniors take occasional brief naps during the day. This becomes an issue when it’s so excessive that it disrupts daily activities. Seniors with excessive daytime sleepiness may sleep through meals and other essential activities during the day. Sleeping too much during the daytime hours can make it difficult to get back on a normal sleep schedule. Excessive daytime sleepiness is also a safety concern. Your loved one shouldn’t drive or operate any heavy machinery when he or she is fatigued.

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. Anchorage, AK, 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.

How to Help Seniors Sleep Better

While you’re helping your loved one find ways to get better rest, make sure to arrange to have help at home that keeps him or her safe. You may also need to plan activities for times during the day when your loved one is the most active. If your loved one is sleeping too much, take a look at his or her nighttime sleep habits. If he or she is waking up frequently and having vivid dreams, talk to the doctor about your loved one’s medications. You can also help your loved one stay awake during the day by planning enjoyable activities so he or she may sleep better at night.

When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep issues, you will be better equipped to help him or her sleep better and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907.