We talked to people in older age about their sleep and how it had changed with age. Here people aged over 65 discuss naps and sleeping in the daytime. People talked about napping, dozing, nodding or dropping off and catnapping during the day or early evening for different reasons, and they often felt quite differently about it. Some choose to nap while others doze off without meaning to. Some people said that they would prefer not to sleep in the day.
Reasons for not sleeping in the day
There could be a range of reasons for not wanting to nap or sleep during the day. For some it’s seen as a waste of time that stops them doing what they want to do in the day. Several people said they see it as something that ‘old’ people do and they don’t want to be seen as old by themselves, family or friends.
Juliet was loath to nap during the day, as suggested by her physiotherapist, because she didnt…
Some people feel that sleeping in the day is a waste of time. Many people said they lead very busy lives and don’t want to waste time in the day by sleeping. Several people worry that if they sleep during the day, it might affect how they sleep at night.
Mike felt if he did start to nap it would signify he was getting older.
Falling asleep during the day makes Mary cross, especially as she has so many things to do.
John would rather not sleep during the evening as it might interfere with his sleep at night.
Possible reasons for sleeping in the day that people gave included being physically active, such as swimming or long walks. Being ill was another reason. For example, having ‘flu, or a diagnosed sleep problem, such as sleep apnoea, which leads to poor quality sleep during the night.
Several people talked of falling asleep in front of the television, either during the day or in the evening. In particular, some people talked about falling asleep in front of the tv when they watched the news. Daphne explained how she tried very hard to stay awake for a late night news show, but nearly always fell asleep.
William can fall asleep after his breakfast, especially if he has been for an early morning swim.
Daniel sleeps badly at night, possibly because of sleep apnoea, so he often dozes off during the…
After a busy day Ronald can fall asleep in front of the television and miss seeing a programme he…
Reasons for sleeping in the day
Some people were quite happy to take a nap during the day. They might plan to have one at a particular time or sit down at a certain time of day, knowing they would naturally doze off.
Robert used to sleep during the day to cope with a lack of sleep at night whilst caring for his…
Napping after eating was mentioned by several people. Frank said that having just had a meal followed by with sitting down to watch the news nearly always sends him off to sleep in the afternoon or evening.
Others didn’t necessarily take time out to have a nap but did make sure they rested and if they fell asleep then that was fine. Roy gets tired in the day and so will often go up to bed and have a lie down.
Some older people said that they needed more rest or sleep to keep up with their everyday activities. They often felt energised by napping so that they could do the things they wanted to do in the day.
People often talked about the importance of listening to what their bodies were telling them, and to take a nap if they felt tired. Some people talked about getting advice on napping.