According to the National Institute on Aging, over half of the senior population suffers from sleep problems. This includes difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently throughout the night, and decreased sleep hours. Although some seniors and their caregivers assume that this is normal and that a nap will help make up for lost sleep, this is not the case!
Why Getting Enough Sleep is Crucial
Day time sleepiness is one of the many reasons that getting enough sleep is necessary during a person’s golden years. It is during sleep that the body repairs itself and “recharges”, and not getting enough sleep is also closely related to health conditions involving the inflammatory response such as heart disease. Seniors who do not get the sleep that they need are at a higher risk for health risks.
Habits That Can Hurt a Good Night’s Sleep
There are several habits that can be hurting sleep. This includes too much day time napping, distractions such as television watching while in bed, and consuming too many alcoholic or caffeinated beverages throughout the day. Timing of medications can even make sleep more difficult for the elder. It is possible to take control of some of these habits, but the caregiver should not change the timing of medications without consulting with the senior’s doctor first.
What Can Be Done to Promote Sleep
The good news is that there are more than a handful of things that the senior or caregiver can do to help get some much needed sleep. Experts recommend keeping the bedroom somewhat cooler than the rest of the home, turning off the television and radio, and limiting naps throughout the day. Increasing activity earlier in the day can also assist in tiring the senior for better sleep. If you are unable to help your loved one with their nightly sleep routine, consider hiring a part-time caregiver in Phoenix who can assist with nighttime activities and ensure safety as the senior gets into bed.
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