Sleep and Seniors
Sleeping has become a real problem for most Seniors. Most of them would go to bed early and wake up really early too, some of them takes a while to fall asleep or get disturbed in the middle of the night by some physical problems like pain or needing to go to the bathroom. Sleeping can be a real problem for our Seniors.
How can we help our Seniors get a better night's sleep? I am sure it's a simple request that can mean the world to them. It would be really helpful if we know what is causing our Seniors not being able to sleep well at night. Some of these reasons actually can sometimes be controlled. For example, if Seniors are having a hard time sleeping because they have to get up several times at night to go to the bathroom. Instance like this, our Seniors can adjust by not drinking any liquid after 6 or 7 p.m. so that they do not go so much at night. Other Seniors suffer restless leg syndrome and an effective natural remedy is to drink a small bottle of tonic water and off goes that restlessness and pain in our legs. Nowadays, there are also different kinds of ointment or spray that they use for restless legs that can be applied directly to the skin.
For some it is just a matter of self-discipline. If the Senior naps a lot at daytime then surely they will find it hard to sleep at night. Keep our Seniors busy, plan the day so that activities can be distributed in the day. Activities should be those that does not overtire them either. Exercise in the morning, walking in the afternoon or take them to the Senior Center for more planned activities and better socialization with other Seniors. If they cannot or do not want that idea, or if they are the sort that tires out easily, naps can be planned so that they do it earlier in the day and for a short period of time.
Our Seniors' medical problem could also be the cause of them feeling tired too fast or needing a snooze or a good rest in between activities. Most common among these medical problems are heart and lung problems that tires them out pretty easily. We should always consult our Seniors Physician for physical activities they're allowed to do- for how long and how much of it. Having such heart and lung problems should not be the reason for inactivity because they still need just in moderation or evenly planned throughout the day.
Other physical problems that can affect our Seniors' sleeping could be mechanical meaning the bed they sleep on, the number of pillows they need to be comfortable, the kind of sleeping clothes they wear, the amount of lighting (if ever they need any) and maybe the sounds/noise present during sleeping time. For some it could be familiarity with the place and the people with them. Most of the Seniors that have just moved in to long-term care facility take a long time to adjust to a new place, new people and new routine. It could also be when caregivers start staying with the Seniors in their own home, they find it hard to adjust and have a good night sleep during the early days of adjustment.
Caregivers should always take small things like this into consideration when caring for Seniors fro the first time in their own home or in a care facility. They should try to make it part of the assessment to know the Seniors sleeping time routine and adjust themselves into this, not the other way around. Caregivers need to familiarize with the client and adjust more than the Seniors they care for. They can variate the Seniors activities but not totally change everything all at the same time because this can cause a major mayhem with the Seniors making them more confused, aloof, unwelcoming and uncooperative. Caregivers should make life easier for the Seniors and a great part of this is making sure they can sleep really good and enough.
A study on Sleep and Aging was done by The Sleep Help Institute and provided some guides for the Seniors to sleep better. Click HERE to read more on the topics of Sleeping and Aging, read and learn more as you might be able to make Seniors' sleep a little bit better.