Tags: sleep | recommendation | hours

Is 4 Hours of Sleep Enough?

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2015 05:29 PM

Question: My father can’t sleep through the night, and usually gets only about four hours before waking up (he’s 85). He says it’s normal for older people to sleep less and he doesn’t need any more. But should I be worried about him?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

Insomnia tends to be more common in the elderly. Clearly four hours is insufficient sleep for anyone on a long-term basis.

You should go with him to a doctor, and try to deal with this. Something is awakening him at night. Does he drink caffeine after 3 p.m. each day? Does he induce sleep with alcohol use? Does he do everything he can to sleep well — such as keeping his room dark, not watching TV in bed, not lapping late in the day?

If he goes for a checkup, it will help you both be sure his sleep issues are not a warning of a more serious or even life-threatening condition — such as sleep apnea, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmia.

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A few hours a night is insufficient sleep for anyone on a long-term basis.
sleep, recommendation, hours
Monday, 22 June 2015 05:29 PM
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