24-Hour Home Care: National Napping Day falls on March 14th to coincide with daylight saving time.
Naps are essential for your health as they help ease stress, refresh the body, and even help with brain health. Yet, a nap that’s too long can negatively impact your day. Are your parents napping too much? 24-Hour Home Care can be a great help to ensure your senior gets the rest they need.
When Is a Nap Too Long?
The Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center recommends that afternoon naps do not exceed an hour and a half. A 30 to 40-minute nap is ideal. If naps exceed 90 minutes, they can impact cognitive function because the brain has had time to enter into a deeper sleep stage. It also affects sleep quality at night.
When your mom and dad have slept too much in the day, their body isn’t tired during the night. They’re more likely to wake in the middle of the night and find it impossible to get back to sleep. Poor sleep quality at night impacts cognitive function and can affect mood.
What Do Experts Feel is Best?
A doctor in the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorder Center said older adults should aim for a 30- to 40-minute nap between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. With a shorter nap time, regular bedtime cycles are not interrupted.
Pair the nap with plenty of daily exercise. If your parents are likely to sit and watch movies all afternoon, they’re not tiring their bodies out. They should follow naps with activities like walking around the neighborhood, working in their garden, or following along to an exercise video.
Another way to ensure a healthy sleep cycle is by watching what they eat. Your parents should avoid caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evening. They shouldn’t eat foods that are high in sugar. High-sodium foods may cause them to wake in the middle of the night and feel excessively thirsty.
An hour or two before bed, your parents should limit what they’re drinking. If they go to bed after drinking a lot of water or herbal tea, they’re likely to wake up in the middle of the night with a full bladder. Once they’ve walked to the bathroom, they’re going to be awake. That makes it harder to get back to sleep.
Hire Caregivers to Limit the Length of Naps
Naps are beneficial, but you can’t let your parents nap for too long. Make sure they stay active and don’t sleep so much that it impacts their nightly routine. If you’re at work during the day, hire home care assistance services to support them with afternoon activities.
Home care aides can take your parents to area parks for long walks in nature. They can engage your parents in favorite hobbies or visit area museums for tours. Learn more about home care assistance by calling a home care agency.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring 24-Hour Home Care in Sun City West, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819