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Nodding off without much warning, old age or should I be concerned?

(54 Posts)
OldJoints Sat 21-Dec-19 18:52:44


So recently I've started to notice I'm falling asleep in a chair on most evenings now. Sometimes it can be even on a day where I've done nothing and shouldn't be tired. I wasn't thinking to much of it until last night when I nearly burnt my legs with hot tea. Was around 7pm, I'd just finished dinner made a cuppa and sat down to watch tv. Without realizing I dozed off, woke up a short time later with the cup of tea soaking into my trousers. Tea had cooled slightly but still gave me quite a shock and got me worrying.

Does anyone else do this? Do you think this is just age related (I'm 68) or is it worth me seeing a doctor to be sure there isn't a underlying condition.

Tedber Sat 21-Dec-19 18:59:27

Always a good idea to check it with a GP Oldjoints. Could be a sign of narcolepsy? 68 isn't that old t.b.h. and I don't think it is a 'normal' condition but also don't think it is necessarily anything serious. You may be lacking in something?

Make that appointment.

Fennel Sat 21-Dec-19 19:22:52

I do that often but I'm much older than you.
This time of the year, when it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between days and nights, (specially in the north) maybe Nature is telling us to hibernate until the days get longer.
But at 68 you should go for a checkup, old joints.

EllanVannin Sat 21-Dec-19 19:48:32

I'd be worried if that happened at 79 ! I suppose I'm lucky really as I still know when it's time to go to bed. 68 is a bit too soon to be nodding off unless it's either boredom or there's a problem. I'd expect it to happen at 88.

Sussexborn Sat 21-Dec-19 20:03:47

I am the same age as you. I sometimes find I am dozing off at about 9pm ish but not in the daytime. With Christmas and the New Year approaching it will cut out several days so it might be best to book an appointment on Monday. It may well be mid January before you get to see your GP. If the problem has resolved itself you can always cancel.

MissAdventure Sat 21-Dec-19 20:15:29

I think its normal, in fact I often....... zzzzzzz..... zzzzzzz

Tedber Sat 21-Dec-19 20:24:04

I think MissAdventure people can nod off sitting watching t.v. but generally you know you are nodding off. IF you start sleeping instantly without realising and holding a hot drink..I think it is not that normal especially for an otherwise healthy 68 year old. I still think a GP visit would be appropriate in this case...even just to alleviate any concerns?

BlueBelle Sat 21-Dec-19 20:24:28

I often nod off when least expected especially in the middle of a programme I really want to see 😂
I certainly have never dreamed (see what I did there) of going to a doctor most people in the 60 s 70 s that I talk to often have a nod off
My nights sleep is never complete I bunny hop through the night
My aunt always had an afternoon sleep from quite a young age
It doesnt worry me I just accept its part of aging

dizzyblonde Sat 21-Dec-19 20:26:17

Blimey, I nod off and have done for years and I’m ‘only’ 54. More so if I’ve had a really busy day and a big meal. Aren’t afternoon naps supposed to be good for us?

MissAdventure Sat 21-Dec-19 20:27:07

Yes, I was joking, Tedber - obviously not very well smile

craftyone Sat 21-Dec-19 20:31:46

7 and with a cup of tea is not quite right. Illnesses like diabetes can lead to extreme tiredness and at is something that would concern me. Nodding off later with nothing in hand to occupy the mind, that is normal

M0nica Sat 21-Dec-19 21:37:29

Oldjoints it could be sleep apnea. If you have this, although you will think you are sleeping well, you will be having lots of micro wakes at night that you are not aware of, with the result that you are very sleepy in the day

Are you overweight, do you have a short thick neck? These can predispose you to get sleep apnea. Do you share your bed with anyone, or even just the room (a DD on holiday)? Can they tell you whether when you are lying in bed asleep, your breathing is even and relaxed or whether you keep breathing unevenly or stop breathing for 10 -20 seonds and then taking a deep breath. Another symptom is heavy snoring.

I am becoming an expert on this. I had been telling DH for years (and worrying) about his irregular breathing at night and day time sleeping, but would he take any advice? Would he heck. Then he had a microsleep on the motorway, no accident, the traffic was nearly stationary but, commendably, he was down to the GP as an emergency in days.

He was sent for a sleep test, and as a result was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. He now wears a light breathing apparatus at night that keeps him breathing evenly with out breaks. The first night he used this little gadget. It was like a miracle, he was up early the following day and busy, active and cheerful all day. He had had his first decent nights sleep in about ten years.

Only about one person in ten with sleep apnea ever has it diagnosed, yet it can more than double your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Check it out

endlessstrife Sat 21-Dec-19 21:48:38

I’ve got a friend who’s had naps in the day since we were in our thirties! She’s’only’ 57 now!.

Tedber Sat 21-Dec-19 21:54:29

Ha ha MissAdventure yes I realised you were but in the OP case I really do think she would benefit a check up...just in case. Don't want to alarm or make her feel bad.

I have just read MOnica's post and I also know someone who had this so although I can also drift off in a cosy armchair in an afternoon, it was the fact OP said she had a hot cup in her hand and had no recollection of falling asleep Generally, people will put a cup down if they feel sleepy. Oh gosh! am now sounding like I think there is something wrong.... OP NO! I just think to be sure....make an appointment with your doctor to rule out possible treatable conditions. Of course, it may just be a one-off and the OP will know this herself.

fourormore Sat 21-Dec-19 22:01:02

I would get your vitamin B12 levels checked - my Mum used to fall asleep just like you. She could be reading, watching TV, or even looking at drawings that the GC had done (being stimulated) and simply nod off. Like you, on occasions she had a cup of tea in her hand.
She was found to be vitamin B12 deficient - a small B12 injection every three months solved the problem!
It was just like a battery running down - we always knew when the three months was nearly up and a jab due as she'd start nodding off again!
May not be your solution but worth checking out?

Barmeyoldbat Sat 21-Dec-19 22:18:30

Sleep Apnoea springs to mind, please get it checked out with the Dr.

Oopsminty Sat 21-Dec-19 22:33:08

Get your thyroid levels checked. My Grandma used to say she could fall asleep on a washing line. Turned out she had an under active thyroid.

Hetty58 Sat 21-Dec-19 23:30:19

It could be that you are anaemic - or any of the above suggestions.

My lodger snored loudly and was always tired so I nagged him to see his GP. He was given a monitor to wear overnight. He was diagnosed with two different types of sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine now.

Having said all that, I quite often need a nap after eating a meal. If I feel tired and lie down, I know for sure that I'll doze off for an hour or so!

Barmeyoldbat Sat 21-Dec-19 23:49:25

I am with Monica on this one. I was bit overweight and I had uneven breathing at night, didn't worry me, I was asleep but Mr B use to get worried. Also I was always nodding off to sleep if I just sat down. I had an inactive thyroid but I thought I would just get it checked out. Anyway visit to Dr and then the the Sleep Clinic where after test I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and was given a mask to wear at night which would regulate my breathing. I was told that if I lost some weight it would probably go away which I did and it did.

If its an underachieve thyroid you will also feel cold badly. Needs checking, just for peace of mind.
Typed all this without my glasses as once again I have forgotten where I put the, so please forgive any mistakes

welbeck Sat 21-Dec-19 23:51:34

guess you could check it out with GP, if you can get an appt for a non-urgent thing that is. I've given up tying.
but I am more concerned about hazard awareness and reduction.
could you delay having your tea after a meal, as it is quite common to drop off then as more blood is directed away from the head to the digestive system.
or get one of those insulted cups, with a lid and aperture through which you sip, preferably one with a little hinged closure, to be doubly sure. I find mine v useful.
also how about a nice thick cosy towel, to act like a rug but easier to wash, to put on your lap, just in case.
I also find having something of thick yet yielding material to grip, can act like those stress relievers, but cheaper. you know the executive toys like hard plasticine for squeezing.

Hetty58 Sun 22-Dec-19 00:15:51

Barmeyoldbat, I spent ages retracing my steps in the house today, trying to find my glasses, and they were on my head all the time!

Hetty58 Sun 22-Dec-19 00:20:00

Now that I have my glasses on - I can have a giggle about Barmeyoldbat's 'underachieve thyroid' - and welbeck's 'insulted cups' too!

Lilypops Sun 22-Dec-19 00:24:44

.i am 72 and I often nod of in the afternoon for a quick snooze maybe 30/. 45 mins, I don't worry about it , I just go with it then wake up ready to do the evening meal or any other jobs waiting to be done ,

Juliet27 Sun 22-Dec-19 00:28:58

I could have a nap any afternoon, although luckily not at work! and often drop asleep while watching tv in the evening, especially if the dog is curled up with me, although the other evening it was unfortunately with a G&T in my hand and the dog ended up licking it off his paws. Preferable maybe to hot tea!

welbeck Sun 22-Dec-19 01:00:47

I hadn't noticed the insulted cup; is that the one I curse when I knock it over.
I did ask my brother to bring some black insulting tape to repair my anorak pocket coming away leaving gaping white stuff of padding. not sure it will work, maybe carpet tape would be better. hope my brother understood. he is a man of technics and knows about how insulting tape should be used. I lack skills in all directions. as you can see.