Insomnia often affects the elderly when there is an underlying condition that makes falling and staying asleep difficult. Identifying the causes of sleeping disorders is the most effective way to find a solution that allows your senior loved one to sleep well. Switching your routine is also an easy way to address insomnia. Here are a few tips for preventing insomnia in seniors.
1. Find the Underlying Cause
Many seniors with insomnia have a health issue that contributes to insomnia. Some health concerns that can interfere with sleep include gastrointestinal issues and painful conditions like arthritis and gout. Cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s also affect the sleep cycle. Your loved one can talk to his or her doctor for help identifying and addressing the issues that prevent a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes seniors have a difficult time falling asleep because of stress, which can result from growing challenges with everyday activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable at-home care. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Identify Environmental Causes
Your senior loved one may resist falling asleep if the home is active during the evening. Creating an environment that supports your loved one’s need for an early bedtime may encourage healthier sleep cycles. Try turning the television off after 7pm, and ask guests to avoid visiting after that time. A quiet, restful environment can be paired with an evening routine to help your loved one fall asleep faster.
3. Establish a Routine
Create a routine that encourages good sleeping patterns. Begin your loved one’s routine several hours before bedtime, and choose relaxing activities like taking a warm bath, having a cup of herbal tea, or reading to help him or her prepare for bed. Ideally, you should begin the routine at the same time each day.
Seniors with cognitive disorders like dementia particularly benefit from a consistent routine. For some seniors in Ft. Lauderdale, dementia care is essential. Regular mental stimulation promotes cognitive health, supervision reduces the risk of dangerous behaviors, and compassionate companionship is a wonderful solution for alleviating the symptoms of dementia.
4. Get Enough Sunlight
Sunlight regulates circadian rhythms, or the natural cycle of sleeping and wakefulness. On average, seniors only get about 30 minutes of sunlight a day, about half the amount of other adults. Increasing sunlight exposure can reset and regulate sleep cycles to reduce the symptoms of insomnia. Try spending more time outdoors with your loved one, and open the curtains during the day to let natural light into the home. Bright light therapy is an option for seniors who can’t spend time outdoors. Your loved one can talk to the doctor about light therapy options.
5. Opt for Natural Sleep Aids
Melatonin is the hormone the body produces to make a person sleepy. Over-the-counter melatonin is an option for seniors who need help falling and staying asleep, but not all brands are a good option. Recent studies show that a two-milligram dosage of extended-release melatonin is the best option for seniors who can’t get enough sleep. Talk to your loved one’s physician to decide whether melatonin or another sleep aid is the right option. Addressing sleep issues by identifying the cause is the simplest way to help your loved one sleep better, but sleep aids are an option if other solutions don’t provide relief.
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of health issues in aging adults. 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. Galt Ocean Mile seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care methods, call Home Care Assistance at (954) 909-0370 today.