Contrary to popular belief, seniors do not need less sleep than younger folks; sleep requirements do, however, vary from person to person. Pain, stress, anxiety, medications, and the need to get up frequently in the night to urinate can all interfere with seniors getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep remains the great healer and it becomes increasingly important to get a high quality of sleep as you age. Here are some tips to help the seniors in your family get the quality of sleep they need.
Natural remedies are a good choice for inducing sleep without the negative effects that can occur the next morning with pharmaceutical solutions.
Natural supplements to aid in getting a good night’s sleep include melatonin, kava, valerian root and tryptophan. Be sure to watch for possible interactions with medications, however. Melatonin should be avoided if taking an antidepressant or certain kinds of blood pressure medications. Herbal teas like chamomile are a nice way to end the day and create a positive routine, which also aids in sleep.
Going to bed at the same time every night after a “wind-down” routine and setting an alarm clock to wake at the same time every morning can also aid in overcoming insomnia.
Be sure the bedroom temperature is optimum for sleeping. This is an individual preference for people, so discuss it with your senior family member or senior care provider to make sure it is not too hot or cold for them.
Seniors may do well to avoid caffeine altogether, but at the very least they should avoid caffeine for several hours before trying to sleep. Caffeine is found in coffee, many teas, hot chocolate, and some soft drinks. Caffeine is also found in foods containing chocolate.
Avoid using the bedroom for activities other than sleeping if possible. This means keeping computers, televisions and other distractions out of the room.
Home Care Services
You can speak with home care providers to get additional ideas on assisting your senior relatives. A senior home care agency can help seniors set and keep routines that allow them to stay living in their own homes much longer. If you are considering senior care services for someone you love, contact us today.