Disordered breathing during sleep, often seen in those with obstructive sleep apnea, is also known to accelerate cell damage and aging by limiting the oxygen supply needed to restore and repair brain tissues.  Li, Xiaoyu, et al. Association Between Sleep Disordered Breathing and Epigenetic Age Acceleration: Evidence from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. eBioMedicine. December 2019. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6921369/ If you experience disturbed sleep due to loud snoring, gasping, or long pauses in breathing, book an appointment with your doctor. Ask if a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is appropriate to improve oxygen flow during the night and promote better breathing.
Daytime drowsiness is not normal among older adults
Daytime drowsiness and excessive sleep is not a normal part of aging, but it is common. Excessive sleep is generally defined as 10 or more hours of sleep per day or night. Research showed a 23% prevalence of excessive sleepiness among older adults (average age of 84), and many cases of daytime sleepiness are associated with frequent sleep disturbances during the night. Unfortunately, too much sleep is linked to many of the same health conditions as too little sleep, like heart issues and increased falls risk.  Miner, Brienne, et al. The Epidemiology of Patient-Reported Hypersomnia in Persons with Advanced Age. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. August 2019. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6898735/
The bottom line? Aim for quality, not quantity of sleep.
Are naps a good idea?
“The hours between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. might be your ‘afternoon dip’ in energy levels,” Kriebel-Gasparro said. “Taking a nap during this time can refresh us, but it won’t make up for lost nighttime sleep.” But beware of long naps during the day, she added. “If possible, the ‘cat nap’ is ideal for refreshing energy levels; probably no more than 30 minutes,” she said.