My Mother Seems To Sleep All Day


This is my first post and I would be interested in hearing from anyone with similar issues or if anyone has some advise.

My mother, who is 84, suffered a very bad stroke about 5 weeks ago. She is still in hospital and my father is the only visitor she is allowed and he visits her everyday. I get all my information relating to her current state through my father.

Although on some occasions she seems fairly responsive for short spells, she appears to spend a lot of the day asleep. The amount of sleep is concerning to my father as it makes him anxious about the future and whether she will ever recover.

We have no previous experience of stroke patients and would like to know if it is fairly normal for a stroke patient to sleep most of the day or could there be some other underlying issue causing the fatigue.

My mother is stage 1 diabetic but the hospital appears to have got her blood sugar level under controls at about 8-10. She is not swallowing and is being fed through a nasal tube. I believe that doctors want to change this to a 'peg' so she receives food direct to her stomach. Prior to her stroke she was receiving medication for high blood pressure and has a pace maker in situ.

Thank you for any help you can suggest.



Its very young days for your mother John  I think sleep is a way of rewiring the brain and I am sure she will gradually sleep less. My stroke affected my head and eyes so I am not much help to you.  Try not to worry too much you will be surprised how things will change over time. All the best to you and your dad and I hope your mom recovers fully. Love Norma.

Thank you Norma for you response. I wish you all the best.

John x

Dear John

so sorry to hear about the stroke biting Mum.

in the days after stroking i found it very unpleasant to have visitors around me. I had to ask my wife to refrain from chit chat, and just sit and read, which she likes. I asked her to go off for cofee, lunch etc.

my brain was tryingto get my life back together and speech just hurt. Brain needed all resourses to recover. So maybe the restricted visiting isnt the worst thing.

The brain will rewire itself, by working around dead areas and repairing some damaged areas. Whilst it does this, we will feel "tired" at an extreme level. So we will sleep a lot, often during the day. . Some survivors will sleep 22 hours of the day. I think i slept about 14 hours. And i didnt stay awake for more than two hours, for at least two years.

i now sleep 7.5 hrs at night and will have a nap at lunch time.

the SA leaflets are excellent, i recommend you read them.

best wishes




Thank you Colin for your response. I found it very informative. It's good to get this sort of information, particularly from people like yourself who has gone through a similar situation. 
I do wish you all the best for the future and once again I thank you for your response.

All the best,


John try to keep us updated on your moms recovery we will be very interested how she is getting on. again very best wishes to you all. Norma.

Hello John,

It is good news that your mother's blood sugar is under control. I too lost my ability to swallow but did regain it eventually. I know several stroke survivors that have been using a peg for several years and they are all alive and well years after their stroke. They carry a small container to periodically spit saliva into, because they cannot swallow it. On special occasions they actually taste food or alcohol, only to spit it out later.

They are generally lean and healthy and lead fairly normal lives. I was much younger than your mother when I had my stroke but the swallowing issues did lead to double pneumonia and I was gravely ill from that.

Fatigue-wise, you'll hopefully see from dozens of posts on this forum that it is a very common symptom. I found it diminished with time. My own mother had a stroke at 62 years of age and began a life of sleeping 19 hours a day. I may take a short nap during the day or evening and find that is enough. We are all different, of course.

Nothing you have said sounds like a cause for concern at this stage - this will be placing a strain upon your father and at 84 years of age, it may not be appropriate for your mother to return home, I am sorry to say. The medical team involved with her should be keeping both you and your father fully appraised of what they think the future holds for her.

Take care now, all of you,


Hello Damian,

Thank you for your response.

I appreciate your comments, particularly about my mother returning home. My parents have been married for 65 years and I think that the thought of living separately really concerns my father. We'll see how things go but I get your point.

As you say it would seem that the amount of time my mother spends asleep is not uncommon in a stroke patient. It's just that she appeared to show some improvement intially but now seems to tire very quickly. I suppose it's still early in her recovery process.

Your comments with respect to the peg are very helpful. I suppose our main concerns with the peg is whether she will continue to get assistance with her swallowing. However I don't think there is any alternative at present while she is unable to swallow. Pneumonia is a very real concern too, I can't imagine how terrible this was for you following your stroke.

Once again thank you for your reply and I wish you all the best for future.



Hi John, reading what you have written about your mum is almost identical to my experience with my mum. My mum had a bleed on the brain and then a stroke and has been unable to swallow since. She initially had the tube through her nose which led to many chest infections. Since having a peg fitted those chest infections have stopped and she appears much more comfortable. She too was incredibly tired most of the time and still is if I'm honest but the alert moments are becoming more often. I wouldn't worry too much regarding the sleep, they say that the brain does the most healing when you are asleep. I know how difficult it can be not to be able to visit and see how your mum is for yourself. 

I hope that your mum can make a good recovery.