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June 11, 2021

Senior Health: Fighting Back Against Poor Sleep

sleep

The older we get, the more common it is for our sleep patterns to change.  This can become a concern if you care for an elderly family member.  With the many benefits a good night’s sleep can give, what do you do when an aging loved one starts to exhibit sleeplessness?  Are there local services available near me to contact concerning sleep problems in the elderly?  Well, look no further.  Home Instead offers senior assistance quality care in-home and is equipped to address numerous health issues, including sleep deprivation.  

A common challenge many seniors will face is getting a decent night’s sleep.  As a person ages, the more sleep problems they may experience.  They may even notice themselves napping more during the day and feeling tired earlier in the evening.  Poor sleep can start to reduce the quality of life in people over the age of 65.  So, understanding the effects and factors sleeplessness has on the elderly can help you to find effective solutions to make them feel better rested.  This is essential to their overall health care.  

Possible Effects:

  • Develop depression.
  • Experience alertness and memory loss.
  • Feeling sleepy and tired throughout the day.
  • Falling at night is more likely to occur.
  • Produce health issues.

Possible Factors:

  • Chronic medical illnesses.
  • Side effects to medication.
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia.
  • Restless leg syndrome.
  • Poor sleep patterns.
  • Lack of activities.
  • Stress.

 

Sleep is very important for your mental, physical, and emotional health.  That is why difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep can become particularly annoying for older adults.  It can lead to sleep deprivation, or insomnia, causing confusion and memory concerns.  Lack of sleep can also increase your risk for developing dementia.  But there are measures you can take to encourage your loved one to try to overcome sleep difficulties.  Implementing healthy changes daily can have a huge impact on someone’s sleep schedule, and their life. 

Ways to encourage better sleep habits: 

  • Create a routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
  • Try to avoid taking naps during the day, or at least keeping them short. 
  • Stay active daily so that you will feel more tired at night. 
  • Avoid caffeine at least 3 or 4 hours before bedtime. 
  • Put down your phone, tablet, and turn off the television at least an hour before bedtime.  
  • Keep your room cool, quiet, and dark when you are ready to go to sleep.
  • Limit your fluid intake by giving yourself a cutoff time at night.  This will ensure that you do not visit the bathroom frequently.  
  • Relax before bedtime by taking a warm shower or bath, read a book, meditate, or even listen to calming music. 

 

Since one third of our lives are spent sleeping, it is very important to understand the effects a good night’s sleep can have on our elderly loved ones.  Healthy amounts of sleep can help the body fight off diseases.  It can improve concentration and refreshes the immune system.  It also allows the body to repair damaged cells that occur during the day.  Having good sleep patterns simply puts people in a better mood and can increase their productivity.  That is why encouraging a better sleep routine is essential in elderly adults.  It will benefit them by improving their overall health and quality of life.  

As caretakers, caring for an elderly family member can be a challenging role, one you probably did not anticipate taking on.  However, knowing support is near you should bring you some relief.  Home Instead is an in-home professional service in the Acadiana area.  They work with families to provide and maintain the care necessary for their adult loved ones.  They address the individual patient welfare based on their needs.  The skilled staff of Home Instead will work to bring comfort and peace of mind to both the patient and family members who care for them.