Why do we fall asleep while sitting?

We are a professional company with support workers and a management team that have decades of experience between them. Diamond Care & Support has the means to look after a diverse range of clients at home. When someone comes to us looking for aid, we find the perfect personal assistant. They will be able to attend to all the client’s needs.

Personal assistantFalling asleep when we are sitting down is common. In a world as busy as ours, it is not unusual to nod off in embarrassing situations. Thanks to our hectic schedules, it can happen when we sit to watch a movie, or while we are at the computer. These naps have an explanation too; everything is catching up to us.

Saying all that, what about the elderly people who no longer have such hectic lives? Falling asleep while sitting down is common here too. What we want to do is look at some of the reasons why this happens. We’ll also talk about the times it may be a cause for concern.

Sleep deprivation

If elderly people are falling asleep while sitting down, they are probably not sleeping enough at night. According to the National Institute of Ageing, adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep to stay healthy. Elderly individuals can often struggle to rest at night and may have an unusual sleep cycle. The result is them going about their days feeling sluggish and tired then falling asleep when they sit to relax.

Sleep apnoea

Short pauses in the breathing when sleeping, excessive fatigue in the day, and snoring are all signs of sleep apnoea. This condition can result in other complications like high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. Dementia and memory loss are possibilities as well. If people are falling asleep while sitting down, it could be due to sleep apnoea disrupting sleep at night.


Medications like psychoactive, heart, asthma, or blood pressure drugs can cause insomnia for older people. Even over the counter cold and flu medication or painkillers can have an impact. Some ingredients in medication, especially things like caffeine and alcohol, have a big impact on the ability to sleep.

Movement disorder

These are neurological disorders that result in slower or faster movements. Conditions here include rapid eye movement and restless leg syndrome. They can be linked to the inability to remain asleep at night or fall asleep at all.

What to try?

If people are struggling to sleep, there are things to try that can help with insomnia. Don’t smoke. Any drinkers should do so in moderation or not at all. Stick to a bedtime routine. Exercise during the day but not at night. Don’t eat near bedtime. Restrict screen time at least two hours before bed. Also, avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and night. It can all help, but it may also be a good idea to speak to the GP.

Choose a personal assistant to help

At Diamond Care & Support, we work with individuals and entire families. It is our belief that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and care. It is at the core of our philosophy and ensures that we prioritise wellbeing with every single service.

So, if you need a personal assistant for yourself or to help a family member, make sure you contact our team. We can discuss services and find the perfect schedule for any needs.