As we begin to age, our bodies change, and we become more susceptible to sleep issues. This can be due to any number of reasons including chronic illness or medication use. Seniors are very susceptible to developing insomnia, and it is an issue for more than half of people over the age of 60.
Some of the warning signs that a senior is suffering from sleep deprivation are:
- Taking at least 30 to 45 minutes to fall asleep
- Waking up in the middle of the night on multiple occasions
- Waking up at a relatively early hour and being unable to fall back asleep
- Feeling exhausted and unproductive the following day
There are ways you can help to improve your sleep hygiene and help your body to have a normal circadian cycle of sleep during the night. The experts at Tuck Advancing Better Sleep, have shared with us the 6 practices you can use to help sleep-deprived seniors.
- Pick a sleep schedule and stick to it. Be sure to go to bed and get up at the same times every day, even on the weekends.
- Stay active during the day. Daytime napping can significantly affect your overall quality of sleep. Physical activity, on the other hand, will help you wind down at the end of the day and feel more tired when you retire for the night. Manage your day accordingly, but try to avoid any strenuous exercise within three hours of bedtime.
- Get some vitamin D. Vitamin D has proven to improve sleep quality. You can boost your vitamin D intake by spending just 30 to 60 minutes in direct sunlight, and those who live in colder places can take vitamin D supplements.
- Don’t drink anything before bed. Alcoholic beverages can exacerbate the effects of insomnia and other sleep disorders. Other fluids before bedtime can cause problems for people with incontinence, as well. Keep fluid intake to a minimum for an hour or so before bedtime.
- Take a bath before bed. The warm water can aid thermoregulation, since your body temperature will drop after leaving the tub and you will feel more tired in the process.
- Convert your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. Make sure your bedroom is reasonably dark and properly ventilated. Also avoid bedroom activities that hinder sleep, such as eating, watching television or using electronic devices. Be sure to get out of bed if you’re unable to fall asleep after 10-20 minutes, and only return to bed when you become tired. Basically make sure your mattress is just used for sleep. This will help train your body to fall asleep more quickly.
To view the full Sleep and Senior Aging Guide, click to the Tuck Advancing Better Sleep Guide
It’s important to take notice of any changes in a senior’s sleep pattern, to make sure and address the issue as soon as possible. These strategies are great ways to help someone on a daily basis. It’s always necessary to check with their doctor if you do notice any changes, and develop a personalized plan that works for a senior based on their individual issues and history.
Has the senior in your life created their estate plan yet? It is important to have a plan in place to make sure their assets are protected in order to maintain living a full life. We have the expertise in creating the right plans for all our clients. If you want to learn more, reach out to us today. Click to contact us