A healthy amount of sleep varies from one person to the next. Babies and children need more sleep than adults, but most adults require at least seven to eight hours of sleep. You might think your dad is sleeping too much but is he really?
It can take a person around 30 minutes to fall asleep after turning out the lights. Your dad went to bed at 9 p.m. A total of eight hours of sleep would bring him to 5 a.m., but that’s if he falls asleep straight away, which is unlikely.
If it takes him an hour to fall asleep, eight hours of sleep brings him to 6 a.m. How much does he wake during the night, however? If he gets up twice to use the toilet, he’s losing sleep. If it takes him another hour to drift back to sleep after two bathroom trips, it would be normal for him to sleep until 8 a.m or 9 a.m. and still only get eight hours of sleep.
Things That Impact Your Dad’s Sleep Patterns
Ideally, your dad wants to get eight hours of sleep, but not all of that is deep sleep. Slow-wave sleep (deep sleep) is essential for your body to function correctly. It helps with memory storage. Generally, a person gets around an hour and a half of deep sleep. It varies, however, and often happens in cycles of 45 to 90 minutes.
Certain things will impact the different stages of sleep. Traffic noise outside may wake him up. If that happens frequently, white noise like a fan or ocean sounds can help drown out the sound of a neighbor coming home or a truck driving by.
A dog barking in the neighborhood may interrupt your dad’s sleep. Wild animals may wake him up as they howl, yip, etc., while they’re passing through his yard. He may wake up needing to go to the bathroom. He may wake up because his stomach is growling.
If your dad has a hard time falling asleep, white noise also helps. It may help him to get into a routine that prepares the body for sleep. He gets into bed, turns on his fan, leaves the covers off, and reads his book for an hour. At that point, he pulls the covers on, turns out the light, and puts on ocean sounds.
Ways To Stop Waking Up in the Middle of the Night
Two hours before your dad goes to bed, he needs to stop having beverages. He wants his bladder to stay empty longer. Instead of a full glass of water before bed, he should stick to sips of water. He needs to avoid all caffeinated beverages in the evening.
Stop napping. Instead of sleeping all afternoon, hire home care aides to spend time with your dad after lunch. His home care aides can keep him active and make sure he’s tired by the end of the day. If he’s really sleepy, he’s more likely to sleep through the night. Call a home care agency to schedule caregivers.