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Do you toss and turn every night when trying to go to sleep? Do you wake up at least once during the night?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends between seven and eight hours of sleep per night for older adults. Senior Helpers conducted a national survey to determine if seniors are sleeping soundly and getting enough sleep at night.

Senior Helpers discovered a large majority of seniors experience sleep fragmentation, with 88 percent waking up at least once per night, while other seniors wake up three times or more per night.

“Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep, and it’s no wonder that sleep is sometimes elusive. While it’s   difficult to control all the factors that interfere with your sleep,” said Bob Tucker, a qualified dementia care provider (QDCP) at Northbrook-based Senior Helpers serving the north and northwest suburbs to the Wisconsin border, “you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep.

Start with these simple tips.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule - Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Senior Helpers knows that only one-third of seniors are able to fall asleep quickly so practice activities such as listening to music, taking a warm bath or using meditation to help. 
  •  Avoid or limit daytime naps - Long naps can interfere and make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. If you need to take a nap, limit the nap to 30 minutes or less and nap earlier in the day.
  • Drink fewer fluids at night - To stop bathroom visits during the night, try to avoid liquids shortly before bedtime. This should help you get a better night’s sleep. But be sure to stay well-hydrated for the rest of the day.
  • Avoid nighttime technology - Avoid playing computer games, using smart phones and watching TV for at least 30 minutes before trying to get a good night’s sleep. Your body thinks you aren’t ready for sleep when you are engaged in these  activities.
  • Exercise everyday - Physical exercise can improve your sleep quality and sleep duration. Consider moderate aerobic exercise such as swimming, walking, Tai Chi, yoga or even chair exercises. Ask your doctor to recommend appropriate exercises for you and your situation.
  • Avoid bedtime eating - “Don’t go to bed stuffed. Avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours before bedtime or the discomfort might keep you awake,” says Abbie Tucker, senior advocate and client services director, certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and a qualified dementia care provider (QDCP).

“It’s also important to know when to contact your doctor so any underlying causes of sleeping problems can be identified and treated so you can get a good night’s sleep.”

If you are having challenges sleeping or with healthcare, driving, housekeeping, errands, meal preparation or other challenges, and you would like to learn how a Senior Helpers in-home assistant can be of help, please contact us. We offer free in-home  assessments with a senior care professional from Senior Helpers. Contact Bob Tucker at Senior Helpers: 847-564-7500 or email him at

This Senior Helpers office is the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Cares Affiliate office for all of Chicagoland and has established an For the past five years, they have also been ranked as one of the Top Home Care Agencies in America.