Senior Living: Get Power from Napping

Daytime senior living can be improved by taking a nap. Studies show that seniors who take short naps can get a boost of strength during daytime. That enables them to live the senior lifestyle that want, doing the activities that are important to them. Let’s look at nap-figures in minutes and show how napping can be a tool for the wise.


The Long and Short of It

Naps of different lengths have different effects on the body and the brain. As surprising as the results may be, research and reports from the National Sleep Foundation has found that the shorter naps are the ones that give the most energy.

Here are naps of different lengths and the related findings:

90 minutes 

This is considered a full sleep-cycle, leaves a person feeling mentally focused and productive, emotionally balanced and energized.

60 minutes

May improve memory and thinking skills, may leave a person feeling groggy or sleepy since it is an incomplete sleep-cycle.

30-45 minutes

The 45 minute-naps can be good for reducing blood pressure. However, 45 minute naps fall in to the category of naps for 30 minutes to 60 minutes. These can leave a person drowsy and clumsy until they wake up properly.

10-20 minutes

Recommended for a pick-me-up nap to help a person get through the day, give mental acuity and feeling of alertness. Naps of 25 minutes give the best combination of having a decent rest with out the drowsy-groggy feeling that comes with a 30-minutes-plus nap.

6 minutes

Dubbed ‘power naps’, these short daytime naps can boost a person’s memory and alertness, on condition that they are not otherwise deprived of sleep (or water, see below).


Should Seniors Nap During the Day?

Younger people think of napping in terms of getting power to push their bodies and minds further. The truth is, however, that people of all ages want to get more out of their day.

Research at Surrey University found that seniors feel quite strongly about leading an active lifestyle. It is common for seniors to have disturbed sleep patterns at night. Reason for this include having wake up to go to the toilet. Other reasons might be sleep apnea, poor sleeping position or simply waking up very early and not being able to fall asleep again.

Napping has been found to improve mental abilities, as we have shown above. Seniors can get strength from a nap, and can fill the whole day with activities. It seems to be a good idea to catch 40 winks. A person can wake up refreshed and ready to start again. However, investing in a device or a timer might be necessary to catch the ‘right’ amount of sleep.


Don’t want to Get Caught Snoozing…

The seniors who participated in the study expressed their desire to participate in an active senior lifestyle. Poor night sleeping reduced their energy for day-time activities. However, they felt that they were being lazy if they nodded off or napped during the day.

The negative association with napping holds back seniors from taking an energy-giving rest. Seniors also try to get round the problem of poor night sleep by avoiding naps during the day. In the early evening they doze off in front of the television. Then the poor sleep pattern is reinforced.


An Excuse that Doesn’t Hold Water

Disturbed sleep due to waking up to go to the toilet at night, can cause a self-defeating habit. Some seniors reduce the amount of water they are drinking in an effort to save their sleep. But that habit will only make them become dehydrated, with side-affects of making a person feel sleepy.

Severely restricting the amount of water drunk is not a good plan. Talk to the doctor for ideas of how to overcome the night-time toilet problem. It is likely that by correcting day-time drinking habits, night-time toileting would be improved.


Fear of Taking Sleep Medication

Seniors value their ability to lead a busy and active life. The Surrey University studied found that some seniors hold back from talking to the doctor about sleep issues. They are worried that sleep-medication will be prescribed.

Sleep medication could: (1) affect how active a life they could lead, (2) some types of medication may cause falls.


All in Favor of Naps say “Aye”

So can we give a thumbs up to napping? We have seen how seniors can allow themselves to have short rests. They can do this by limited-time napping, without feeling sleepy afterwards and without it ruining their night’s rest. To enjoy an energetic, busy, active lifestyle, it is advisable to take breaks between activities to re-energize.

Many senior activities allow for this pattern. Activities should be timed for a convenient part of the day and not last too long. In that way a person can catch a nap in between.

Night-time sleeping and daytime senior living can be improved by taking a nap, and can lead to seniors having more active lives.

senior living improved by naps

Original Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash