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#896183 07/09/15 07:41 AM
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My naps have turned into full blown sleeping sessions. Lasting 5 hours or more. Am wondering if this psychologically bundles with my procrastination issues. Like as long as I nap I can avoid things.


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Sheryl T #896189 07/09/15 09:49 AM
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It just might bundle procrastination... I have a doctorate in that. I would love to just be able to sleep five hours at a time. A nap would be a luxury.

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Hi Jana and Sheryl, Thanks for your feedback on Napping. Did you mean to post your napping discussion as a Geriatrics Forum? If so, I wrote an article about sleep and older adults that you might find interesting as it lists reasons why people may not sleep well at night (and therefore be more prone to napping during the day). Of course, avoidance, stress and other mental health issues affect sleep and sometimes a sleep clinic is recommended by family doctors to discover causes. Here is the article:

As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. It is a common misconception that sleep needs decline with age. In fact, research demonstrates that our sleep needs remain constant throughout adulthood.

Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Sleep Medicine Reviews is based at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and reports that along with the physical changes that occur as we get older, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process.

Changes in the patterns of our sleep - what specialists call "sleep architecture" - may contribute to sleep problems. Sleep occurs in multiple stages including dreamless periods of light and deep sleep, and occasional periods of active dreaming (REM sleep). The sleep cycle is repeated several times during the night. Although total sleep time tends to remain constant, older people spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep than in deep sleep.

Many older adults, though certainly not all, also report being less satisfied with sleep and more tired during the day. Studies on the sleep habits of older Americans show an increase in the time it takes to fall asleep, an overall decline in REM sleep, and an increase in sleep fragmentation (waking up during the night) with age.

Research suggests that much of the sleep disturbance among older persons can be attributed to physical and psychiatric illnesses and the medications used to treat them. However, there are other types of sleep disorders that are more prevalent in older age:

• Insomnia - is fairly common in older age, and according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2003 Sleep in America poll, 44% of older persons experience one or more of the nighttime symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week or more.

•Snoring - is the primary cause of sleep disruption for approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis. Snoring is most commonly associated with persons who are overweight and the condition often becomes worse with age. Loud snoring is particularly serious as it can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea and is associated with high blood pressure and other health problems.

•Restless legs syndrome (RLS) - is a neurological movement disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the limbs. With RLS, unpleasant, tingling, creeping or pulling feelings occur mostly in the legs, become worse in the evening, and make it difficult to sleep through the night. Its prevalence increases with age and about 10% of people in North America and Europe are reported to experience RLS symptoms.

•Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - is another common cause of sleep problems. The pain also makes it difficult to sleep.

Medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, renal failure, and respiratory diseases, such as asthma and immune disorders, are all associated with sleep problems and disorders. Diseases such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis also commonly cause problems sleeping.

In general, people with poor health or chronic medical conditions have more sleep problems. For example, hypertension affects approximately 5 million Americans and is linked with snoring, sleep apnea, and other disorders.

If sleep problems persist, it is recommended that we discuss the issues with our physician or perhaps consider a sleep clinic where tests are conducted that can determine the cause of our lack of sleep.

Sheryl T #899853 09/18/15 07:20 PM
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My wife and I, both in our mid-70s, both suffer from insomnia. She goes to bed early and is awake for two or three hours in the middle of the night, when she reads herself back to sleep. I take one "sleep-aid", the night after two successive disturbed nights.

I used to have a nap of an hour or two most afternoons, but then I discovered (I forget how!) that eating bread is what caused me to doze off. So I cut bread out of my diet altogether. Now, the only time I need to nap is when I've over-eaten. I have to discipline myself to stop eating before I'm full.

I hope this discovery is useful to someone else here.

Gordon Barlow #899857 09/18/15 07:59 PM
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Thanks for this post Gordon!

My husband, especially suffers from insomnia - however, he's a big refrigerator visitor. Despite what I say, he denies any bad eating habits..

Well, we have been through a lot this year. We had a house fire in New York, me and the kids were on life support (no burns, thank the Lord,) and my husband at his wits end through it all. We were all in the hospital for a good 3 months off and on, especially myself. Had a stent put in my throat because of the damage through interbation (trachea stenosis) at one of the hospitals and now have pulmonary embolisms which were all intertwined with this disaster. So now we are in California with our family and have a place to live.

So to cap it all off, I was very active on my daily job working 48 hours per week, running around like a crazy person and loving it, to trying to think of something else to do with my talents (and I have, writing!) smile

So, often I have sleepless nights now. I can understand how my husband feels. I think once I feel secure again, this will subside. I think stressors in your life bring abnormal behaviour. Thoughts?

Sheryl T #899996 09/20/15 08:40 AM
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Gosh, Allyson, I can see why you have trouble sleeping. Try one of the things called "sleep aids" - 25 mg diphenhydramine. I buy cheapo generic tablets - 12 for about $1.20 here, and probably less in the US. The packet says "take two", but I (and my wife) only take one, and only when we've had a couple of sleepness nights on the trot. They don't send you to sleep, but what they do is send you *back* to sleep when you wake up. If you see what I mean! They're not addictive, but one can get a bit *dependent* on them if one takes them regularly.

Sheryl T #900006 09/20/15 09:53 AM
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Hi to all. I use melatonin to get to sleep.... sometimes also benadryl which helps my allergies and puts me to sleep. Just don't buy the "no drowsy" kind!

There are so many things that keep people up at night. Sleep is so important that we can't let sleeplessness go on for too long. In Allyson's case such huge trauma will take awhile to abate, and she and her family will have to take steps to feel as secure as possible while healing.

Some things that keep people awake is that they can't shut off the "worries." When we go to sleep and all is quiet, that's when the "worries" arrive. Some are legitimate, but many are "what ifs." The best way to shut the worries down at night is to tell yourself you will deal with the problem and write out an action plan the NEXT DAY. And then do it. That seems to help a lot of people who feel that it is the inaction on the same problem day after day that keeps them up at night.

I recognize that what was keeping me up was the issue that I may have made a wrong decision on where I finally retired. So I mapped out a plan with a timeline to make decisions along the way about how I was going to determine either my next move or the benefits of staying where I am. I have been sleeping much better since! I'm sure some other gnarly issue will come along, but as long as I stay action-oriented and face the issues as they arrive, I think that will help my sleeping.

This "face the music" plan won't work for every circumstance, of course, but it works for worries with potential solutions and also helps alleviate the "what if" worries. Regaining peace of mind after a serious trauma takes time and needs a lot of support from friends and family, and sometimes professional psychotherapy, to overcome.

Sheryl T #900007 09/20/15 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the advice Gordon, I appreciate it. I'll look for those in the pharmacy.

Sheryl T #900008 09/20/15 09:59 AM
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Lots of great advice there Pat, thank you!

Sheryl T #900009 09/20/15 10:32 AM
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I love napping - it's refreshing at any age :-)


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Originally Posted By Allyson - USACook/HomeCook
Thanks for the advice Gordon, I appreciate it. I'll look for those in the pharmacy.


Allyson.Good luck. I buy mine in the supermarket; they're in the same aisle as all the other OTC stuff.

Sheryl T #900021 09/20/15 12:15 PM
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Sweet, thanks G!

Sheryl T #900511 09/28/15 11:18 AM
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I don't dare nap or I'm up all night, the only exception is if I am sick...And fortunately for me that doesn't happen very often, but fatigue does. Ugh!

Sheryl T #900526 09/28/15 04:29 PM
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What I am finding is that I don't recover as quickly when I have any kind of illness (cold/sinus/whatever) and want to sleep more often during the day during recovery. It takes me a long time to get back my energy. I am not sure why...my blood test results are fine. I am in the middle of one of these energy funks as we speak. It is very frustrating.

Sheryl T #900600 09/29/15 03:07 PM
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I understand about energy funks. I'm going through one too. Have been for a while now...

Sheryl T #903569 11/28/15 03:12 PM
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I recently decided that one of the reasons I have trouble napping is that my bedroom is too light during the day. So I tried napping in another bedroom with darker curtains and I slept like a babe. How exciting that now when I'm tired I know I can sleep during the day and where!

Sheryl T #903579 11/29/15 04:03 AM
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This article, The myth of the eight-hour sleep, suggests that some sleep problems relate to our not having really adapted to having a long sleep at night. It says that before artificial lighting was prevalent people slept in two stages with a gap in between in which they did things, prayer, sex, reading, socialising . . . (This would seem to me to be easier for people of means who could afford candles. And naps aren't mentioned.)


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Sheryl T #904413 12/17/15 09:13 PM
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This is the time of year when I really need to rest during the day...it is so stressful! I always feel behind and forget to take a break. Napping is a great way to recharge my batteries and have the energy to continue decorating, shopping, cooking and all of the other holiday chores that seem endless!

Sheryl T #906756 02/09/16 12:30 PM
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I have been spending some time at my boyfriend's place and he has a comfortable bed but terrible pillows (for me.) Pillows are very individual choices and can make or break a good sleep or nap -- this hasn't been the first time that I faced the fact that pillows are really important, especially for a quick nap where we need to be comfortable instantly. So of course, I bought myself a new pillow and left it there!

Sheryl T #908306 03/21/16 01:07 PM
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Just talked to a friend of mine who told me she naps at the same time every day for an hour. She says she blocks out the time on her calendar and only schedules in something else when she absolutely has to do it. This way she always feels refreshed, can enjoy her evenings without feeling tired, and feels that she is pampering herself. If she can't fall asleep (which seldom happens), she reads in bed and rests. Sounds good to me!

Sheryl T #909249 04/19/16 05:42 AM
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A friend of mine just told me that when she gets up in the morning around 7:00am she always feels tired. So she does a few necessary chores around the house and then takes her nap around 10:00 am! She says then she can get on with the rest of the day and enjoy the better part of an evening before she wants to go to bed. It seems that napping at any hour is good if it helps us feel rested.

Sheryl T #910997 06/06/16 02:27 PM
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A lady friend just told me that she takes a dose of Melatonin on an airplane and "naps" her way to any destination, near and far. I guess a cocktail could work but she says Melatonin is the way to go...it is cheap and can be used at any time.

Sheryl T #912059 07/12/16 06:19 AM
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Has anyone tried napping along with aromatherapy? A friend of mine lights a votive candle on her dresser with lavender scent and sprays her pillow sometimes with sandalwood scent before she takes her nap. Sounds delicious.

Sheryl T #913012 08/19/16 08:14 AM
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I put my house up for sale and some days after trying to choose what I should keep, what to get rid of, etc. I am stressed out and disgruntled. I found that picking up a good book and laying down on my bed and resting for about half an hour to an hour is a great escape. Sometimes I fall asleep and sometimes not, but getting my mind away from all of the decision making and having a rest have been real pluses and enabled me to keep going and keep up my energy level.

Sheryl T #914314 09/21/16 06:01 AM
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I have been taking a mid afternoon reading break on some days when I feel particularly tired. I find that sometimes I doze off and take a nap...other times I just read, but the relaxation and escape is good for me and makes me feel rejuvenated.

I do the same thing with TV...I will watch a show mid-day while on the couch, and sometimes I'm able to fall asleep. I think when we are on the go so much, we need the breaks and the rest, and napping can be a positive result of the time outs.

Sheryl T #915240 10/29/16 02:00 PM
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I think nice smells may have been mentioned earlier on, but I just had a lady friend tell me that she goes out to her garden and cuts some lavender and brings a sprig to bed when she takes a nap. She rubs it on her hands and on her neck and cheeks so she can smell fresh lavender. She says the scent is so delightful that she smiles and falls right to sleep. I'll be this would work with vanilla on a kleenex or other nice scents that we enjoy rather than scented candles which can be dangerous if we are going to sleep. There are many ways to use scents with aromatherapy, but my friend's use of her own lavender was a quick and no cost fix!

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A friend was talking to me about her napping. She claims she doesn't feel refreshed afterwards and will often sleep from one to two hours mid afternoons. She asked if anyone had the same problem and if we had any suggestions for her.

When looking on line I found a study that suggested the shorter the naps the better (no more than an hour.) One study showed that long naps can cause a higher mortality rate and higher respiratory disease rates in older adults. Whether we accept these results or not, I think the rule would be not to take long regular naps, but to keep them within less than an hour.

As for my friend, I'm not sure what makes a nap refreshing. Any ideas for her?

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For me, lying down in my bed is sleeping, not napping; and I find it hard to get up again. Better by far is to nap in my recliner. It's perfectly comfortable, but I think my mind is always aware that this is just a temporary fix! So I nod off, but not for too long.

Sheryl T #916254 12/12/16 05:09 AM
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Gordon, that's good advice which I passed along to my friend. She read it here too and told me she is planning to try the sofa as she doesn't have a recliner to use. She also said she will try an alarm even though that is not what we think of using when we nap. She wants to try napping but doesn't want to continue to oversleep, so I'm thinking whatever works would be fine. Pat

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