Helping Seniors Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is essential for a healthy life, even though many of us don’t put it on the same level as breathing or eating. Unfortunately, a disregard for the importance of sleep can leave us operating at less than peak efficiency. For many of us, it means living with the attitude that we’ll catch up on rest after we retire. Well, unfortunately, seniors often struggle with sleep issues even more than their younger counterparts, which can lead to more serious health problems.
Are you caring for an aging loved one who may not be getting enough shuteye? Here are some of the symptoms that a lack of sleep can bring on:
– Increased irritability
– Decreased immune response
– Depression and anxiety
– Lack of emotional well being
– Decreases in balance or steadiness, which can lead to falls (and injuries)
A lack of sleep should not be ignored! It’s a serious condition that can lead to even more troubles in a senior’s life. So what can you do to help?
Five Tips for Helping a Senior Loved One Get Good Sleep
#1 — Rethink the Afternoon Nap
An afternoon nap can be refreshing, but it might be causing an inability to get to sleep at night, when sleep is really needed. You don’t need to take the nap away completely; just consider how it’s affecting your loved one’s sleep and adjust accordingly.
#2 — Prepare for a Good Night’s Sleep
You can’t just hop into bed and expect to sleep the night away. Often, getting good sleep requires a process of shutting down before bed. Help your senior loved one develop a routine that works for them. This includes setting a regular bedtime, which can have a tremendous, positive impact on seniors’ abilities to get to sleep.
#3 — Remove Alcohol from The Routine
A lot of seniors enjoy a nightly adult beverage, but for many of them, it’s affecting their ability to sleep. Consider helping your senior cut back or take some nights off from consuming alcohol; you’ll both probably find that it helps with sleep.
What does your loved one’s bedroom look like? Is it cozy and comfortable? Is the bed appropriate for relaxing into deep sleep? If it’s not a relaxed setting, it could be detrimental to getting the appropriate amount of sleep. Do what you can to make the space as uncluttered as possible, and don’t forget to evaluate the type of light that exists in the room. Although a night light can be handy, you don’t want it to shine so brightly that it interferes with slumber.
#5 — Try a Warm Bath
For many older individuals, adding a nice, warm bath to the nightly routine is a great way to ease into sleepiness. If your loved one is having trouble winding down at night, suggest a nice bath!
Are you interested in learning more about how you can help a senior loved one get the most out of life? Always Best Care is here for you! Call us today at 1 (855) 470-CARE (2273) and find out how to receive your FREE consultation!