Develop Good Sleep Habits
It's a myth that as people age, they need less sleep. While everyone's sleep needs are different, older adults should still aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. The consequences of insomnia are more than just being tired during the day. Not getting enough sleep can lead to health problems like diabetes, weight gain, and a lowered immune system. Being overtired can also cause forgetfulness, which exacerbates the symptoms of memory loss and dementia. For seniors, good sleep habits are essential to maintain independence, health, and happiness in Warren, PA.
There are many reasons that seniors may be unable to sleep at night or wake up feeling unrested. In some cases, an undiagnosed ailment like sleep apnea might be to blame. Some seniors have to get up several times to use the restroom at night, and then have trouble falling back to sleep. Others might be taking medication that interferes with a good night's sleep. Some seniors may be napping too much during the day due to boredom or depression. Napping during the day and then being unable to sleep at night can become a vicious cycle. For seniors with dementia, alleviating symptoms of sundowning is also important. Providing a calm, structured nighttime routine can make bedtime less stressful and help ensure a better night's sleep.
If your senior loved one is having a difficult time sleeping, the first things to look at are diet and exercise. Are they consuming too much caffeine during the day? It might be as simple as swapping out their afternoon coffee for herbal tea. Are they eating enough? Or are they skipping meals because they can no longer manage food preparation?
Another thing to consider is whether or not they are getting the exercise they need. Some seniors may be afraid to walk around by themselves because they're afraid of falling. Or maybe they'd just like some companionship on their daily walk.
When you've ruled out diet and exercise, the next step is to check in with a doctor. There may be certain medications that interfere with a senior’s ability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. A medication adjustment, or even a change in medication times, may help.
A doctor can also check for health conditions that could be causing insomnia, such as depression, anxiety, or uncontrolled pain.
At Senior Helpers, we know that caregiver fatigue is real. A home caregiver can take some of the burden off your shoulders and provide your loved one with support and companionship when you can't be there. Our licensed home caregivers can assist with meals, walking, and medication reminders. We can help your loved one stay active during the day and on a consistent schedule.
And because your sleep is important, too, we also offer nighttime care and can help seniors develop and maintain good sleep habits. We can be there when your loved one has to use the bathroom or get a midnight snack. We can help them stay calm and get right back to sleep.
For more information about our services in Warren, please contact us today.