As seniors age, it may become difficult for them to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This is known as insomnia, and it can lead to other health issues for the elderly. Here are some easy steps family caregivers can take to prevent insomnia in their senior loved ones.
1. Manage Stress
Significant changes to your loved one’s life, such as losing a spouse or being diagnosed with a chronic condition, could lead to more stress and higher levels of anxiety, which impacts sleep. If your loved one is unable to manage this stress, he or she may experience insomnia. Family caregivers can create positive habits that help seniors manage stressful situations, such as exercising, eating healthy snacks, and staying socially active. Being there for your loved one to talk to when he or she feels overwhelmed and stressed out could boost his or her mood and lower his or her stress levels.
Seniors often have difficulty sleeping because of various medical issues. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Orlando seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
2. Encourage Getting More Sunlight
Although you want to make sure your loved one’s skin is protected when out in the sun, you should still encourage him or her to soak up as much sunlight as possible. Lack of sunlight is one of the causes of insomnia among seniors. To regulate your loved one’s melatonin and sleep-wake cycles, he or she should get at least two hours of sunlight per day. Your loved one doesn’t have to go outdoors to be exposed to sunlight. He or she can use a light therapy box to get exposure or keep the shades open at home during the day.
Insomnia is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Altamonte Springs home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
3. Limit Naps
It is ideal for seniors to avoid naps altogether. However, if your loved one wants to take a nap during the day, limit the nap to 15-45 minutes. Short naps can enhance alertness and certain memory processes, but longer naps can lead to insomnia and various cognitive issues. When seniors nap for longer than 45 minutes during the day, they may feel groggy and have difficulty concentrating once they wake up. Make sure your loved one naps early in the day because evening naps could disrupt his or her sleeping patterns.
4. Discourage Inactivity
Seniors who sit around most of the day instead of staying physically active may experience insomnia. Lack of exercise and physical movement can cause seniors to become sleepy, have difficulty going to sleep, and experience nighttime restlessness. However, engaging in regular activity during the day could lead to a good night’s rest. The best activities for seniors who want to prevent insomnia are aerobic exercises and techniques.
5. Wind Down Prior to Bedtime
During bedtime, lighting should be dimmed in the room. Your loved one should stop using electronic devices such as mobile phones, televisions, computers, and tablets. If there are any clocks in your loved one’s room, move the devices out of his or her view. The bedroom should be quiet and cool when your loved one goes to sleep, and the bed should be comfortable. A good wind down routine is the perfect way to be more relaxed, which leads to a good night of sleep. Make sure your loved one’s schedule remains consistent during the week. He or she should wake up and go to bed at the same time each day, including the weekends.
According to several studies, poor sleep hygiene can lead to dementia. Lack of sleep damages the brain over time and speeds up cognitive decline. Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Windermere, Florida, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to boost cognitive health, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (407) 604-0506 today.