If there’s one thing that seniors are famous for, it’s napping. Elderly folks tend to take a lot of naps, but is it healthy? Many people have assumed that excessive napping is just a natural part of getting older. While that may be true, it’s still important to ask just how much napping is considered healthy and not a sign of something more serious.
Sleep deprivation is the most common cause of daytime sleepiness. This can be caused by simple things, such as a room that is too warm, a big meal, drinking too much coffee, the need to use the bathroom during the night or achy joints. Sometimes daytime fatigue stems from boredom and a lack of engagement in daily activities. Medications can also have an effect with the need to take a nap. Agingcare.com reports that “Americans age 65 years and older take an average of four prescription medications. In fact, a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A, concluded that approximately 39 percent of non-institutionalized seniors take five or more prescription drugs.” Seniors metabolize medications differently than younger people and this makes the elderly even more susceptible to adverse effects like drowsiness and dizziness.
Napping Benefits for Seniors
Napping can benefit seniors so long as it doesn’t become especially excessive. Taking naps in the early afternoon is best and try to limit naps to 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remember, napping several times throughout the day is not an effective substitute for a good night’s sleep.
Before giving your parent or grandparent a nudge to wake them up while they’re taking a nap, consider that taking a nap can help older adults maintain or improve cognitive function.
While taking short naps in the early afternoon can be highly beneficial for seniors, taking longer naps can be disadvantageous. Napping longer than 1 hour can leave you groggy, eliminating the reason for napping in the first place. Although taking a long nap might sound sensible when you’re tired, you’ll feel more rested after taking a shorter nap.
If you’re 65 or older and feel like you need a nap, go ahead and take one. Odds are, you’ll feel sharper, better, and refreshed after you wake up.
Why Napping Is Generally Good for Seniors
As an older adult, avoiding naps when you’re tired can weaken your immune system and put you at risk. People are more susceptible to getting sick when tired and or sleep-deprived. Even though you feel that you’re getting a good night’s sleep every night, chances are your body needs more rest throughout the day. Whether you’re young or old, avoiding sleep when you need it the most can make you groggy, irritable, and sluggish, as well as more susceptible to colds and other potentially serious long-term illnesses.
Excessive Napping Could be a Sign of Something More Serious
Sometimes excessive napping isn’t just part of the normal process of getting older; it can be something more serious. While most seniors tend to nap, it’s foolish to ignore potential signs of fatigue that can be a sign of other more serious medical problems. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia often experience a wide array of sleep problems. Other problems can include liver disease, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, dehydration, Parkinson’s disease, neurological conditions, lung or respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal conditions, chronic pain from conditions like arthritis, bladder problems or even cancer.
Many conditions that contribute to fatigue can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening. The key to detecting these conditions is to learn how to distinguish fatigue from a senior’s normal capacity for napping.
When to be Concerned if Seniors Have Fatigue
As you have discovered, excessive napping could result from fatigue. Fatigue can result from poor sleep caused by ailments, such as a bad knee or back. However, the sudden onset of discomfort or fatigue can signal a more serious medical problem for seniors. Illnesses like kidney disease, heart disease, and cancer can be difficult and expensive to treat, especially if not caught early. The take-away here is to be aware and pay attention if napping becomes excessive. A serious disease could result with very expensive medical bills and could be a financial burden.
Although medical treatment for conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer is expensive, it doesn’t change their necessity and many seniors have a difficult time finding the money to afford treatment.
You Have an Option if You Need Money for Medical Treatment
You can sell your life insurance policy for a lump sum of cash in a transaction called a life settlement and there are benefits to this option. The key is to work with a trust worthy provider to purchase your policy. If you’re unsure about finding a buyer by yourself, you can enlist the services of MRE Finance to do the heavy lifting for you.
MRE Finance are the Experts to Help You
If you’re over 70 years of age and struggling to raise enough money to afford medical treatment, you should contact MRE Finance as soon as possible. They will guide you through the 4-6 week process and work with the life insurance company that holds the policy to process the paperwork. Once the transaction is complete, you receive a lump sum cash payout that you can use to pay for medical expenses or whatever you choose.
Our free online life settlement calculator can provide you with a FREE estimate value of your life insurance policy within minutes or call the experts at MRE Finance today at 1-800-521-0770. We’ll answer all your questions as we guide you through the life settlement process with ease!