We love the pleasant, balmy nights of summer. But when the temperature and humidity become too high, it may prevent a good night's sleep. Of course, everyone needs adequate and restorative sleep, but if you care for a senior loved one, you may notice they have difficulty sleeping during the warmer weather. Seniors also face other struggles that cause sleep disruptions, such as changes in body temperature regulations, an increased risk of dehydration, and problems with medications and medical conditions.
This blog post provides practical ways to make summer nights more tolerable for your senior family members and help them in sleeping better during warmer weather.
Keeping Body Temperature Regulated
Seniors experience difficulty in regulating their body temperature, leading to difficulty cooling down in hot weather. The inability to reduce their body temperature causes a struggle when falling and staying asleep. Additionally, certain medications and medical conditions cause the heart rate to increase, which contributes to increased body temperature.
Follow the tips below to help keep seniors cool during hot summer nights:
- Keep the bedroom as cool as possible. Air conditioning may help if you use a clean and quiet model.
- If AC isn't an option, overhead and efficient oscillating fans also provide relief from the heat.
- Make sure to keep seniors' rooms well-ventilated. An open window to let a breeze in may promote a terrific night's sleep if it doesn't promote a safety concern.
- Set up seniors' surroundings to encourage restful sleep. In fact, the right kind of bedding can make a huge difference. Breathable and natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or bamboo can help keep seniors cool by wicking moisture away. These natural fibers may also help regulate body temperature and keep seniors comfortable throughout the night.
Adjusting Seniors' Bedtime Routine
Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine signals the body that it's time for sleep. Keep bedtime and wake-up times consistent, even on weekends. Include winding down activities such as reading, listening to soothing music, or taking a relaxing bath or shower. Calming nature sounds through sleep machines and apps can also help seniors in sleeping better during warmer weather.
Avoid stimulating activities close to bedtime, such as watching TV or using other electronic devices. If seniors use a device to read, make sure they use a nighttime setting as bedtime approaches.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated
During hot weather, dehydration presents a problem, especially for seniors. Dehydration causes physical ailments, including interfering with sleep. Encourage your senior loved one to sip water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Drinking juices and herbal teas, along with eating fresh fruits and veggies, also helps with hydration.
It's also important to advise seniors to limit alcohol consumption and not to drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages after the morning hours.
We Can Help
To achieve high-quality sleep, what works for one person may not work for another. Try different strategies and patiently listen to your senior loved one's needs and concerns. Hot weather should not equate to restless nights.
If you need more assistance or support in caring for your senior loved ones in Huntsville, Madison, Hazel Green, New Market, and Brownsboro, especially during these challenging hot weather months, don't hesitate to contact us at Senior Helpers Huntsville. We're here to support you in caring for your loved ones!