Solving Insomnia in Seniors

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Solving Insomnia in Seniors - Fidelity Home Care & Senior Care

When you get older, you may notice your sleeping patterns changing. You may wake up earlier, or go to sleep earlier or sleep less deeply. This is a normal part of aging; however, disturbed sleep is not. Disturbed sleep is when you wake up tired each day no matter how much sleep you get. This symptom of insomnia and others are not normal parts of aging. Yet sleep is needed because it is very important to both your physical and emotional health now as when you were younger. But you can understand how sleep is affected, or not affected, by age to get help with a sleep problem so that you learn how to improve your sleep habits and address problems in this area for a better night’s sleep.

Below are some things to understand about sleep problems:

  • If you are having stress issues, you need to recognize what they are and address the issues. Are you depressed or have you gone through a traumatic experience recently as examples? If so you can also see a specialist.
  • Also to help with sleep, during the day exercise and move around to get your body tired out. If you exercise regularly, it can promote a deeper sleep.
  • Are there any medications that you’re taking which may be affecting the way you sleep? With this, are you having any health issues such as menopause or post menopause, asthma, diabetes, nighttime heartburn or pain? A pharmacist can help with your medications and a doctor with your health problems.
  • Do you have a sleep disorder such as Restless Legs Syndrome, snoring or sleep apnea? These can be treated.

How to improve sleeping conditions at night

There are ways to improve getting enough sound sleep at night. However; since everyone’s sleep problems may be different, you may have to experiment which different changes to find what works for you. So below are some suggestions on how to improve your sleep at night:

  • Boost your melatonin levels. Melatonin is what helps you get to sleep at night. But artificial light can suppress the process which produces it. So, you can use low wattage light bulbs where you can and be sure also to turn off the computer and TV at least one hour before you go to bed. There are additionally melatonin supplements to use for occasional sleep problems.
  • Be sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet and that your bed is comfortable. Light, heat and too much noise can cause problems sleeping additionally. If you need to block out light, a sleep mask can help too. Also, if you use your bedroom for just sleeping and sex, your brain will associate your bedroom with those activities.
  • In addition, move any bedroom clocks out of sight. Not only will the light disrupt your sleep, but watching the minutes tick by can cause insomnia.
  • Maintain a sleep schedule which is consistent as well as a regular bedtime routine to get you wound down for sleep.
  • Don’t use or limit sleeping aids since most sleep aids have side effects. Sleeping aides aren’t meant for long term use. Since the pills don’t address the issues, it can make insomnia worse in the long run.

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t impossible, and these tips may help you. If you’re still having sleep issues though, then talk to your doctor.

 

References:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-well-as-you-age.htm

http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/insomnia-for-seniors