How to Help Older Adults Stave Off Insomnia

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Insomnia is fairly common among older adults. However, your aging loved one needs proper sleep to keep a positive mindset and enjoy better physical health. You can use the following tips to help your elderly parent keep insomnia at bay.

Put a Notepad by the Bed

Just before bedtime, the mind is often preoccupied with thoughts. For instance, your loved one may worry about whether he or she forgot to pay a bill or send someone a birthday card. Put a small notepad, pencil, and lamp by the bed, and tell your loved one to write down anything that pops into his or her mind. Jotting down his or her thoughts on paper could encourage your loved one to stop ruminating and get some sleep.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help your aging parent make healthy lifestyle choices that promote better sleep. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Coral Gables, FL, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

Address Pain and Discomfort

Trying to sleep while in pain is almost impossible, even for younger adults. If your loved one has more than one restless night, talk about what he or she is feeling. For instance, your loved one may complain of waking up with pain in the neck, and a new ergonomic pillow is all it takes to restore his or her sleep. As you explore pain management solutions, keep in mind some painkillers contain stimulants. Talk to your loved one’s physician before providing a medication for discomfort to make sure it does not contribute to insomnia.

Reduce Exposure to Blue Light

Blue light is emitted from electronic devices such as smartphones and computers. While this light does not bother everyone, it can affect sleep. If your loved one insists upon using devices before bed, consider buying blue-light blocking glasses. However, it’s more effective to simply turn off all electronic devices and do a relaxing activity together.

Encourage Exercise During the Day

Older adults can sleep soundly at night by getting plenty of exercise throughout the day. However, seniors who exercise too late in the day may still not be able to fall asleep since the workout floods the body with hormones and gets the heart rate up. If your loved one prefers to exercise in the afternoon, try to do it shortly after lunch and not within two hours of bedtime. 

Seniors who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Coral Gables elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Establish a Sense of Security

Insomnia can also be caused by mental stress. For instance, your loved one may worry about someone breaking into his or her home overnight or be terrified of falling during the night. Eliminate bedtime anxiety by securing the home. Install security locks and cameras on your loved one’s entryway doors, and consider having someone stay with him or her overnight. Feeling secure may help your loved one drift off to sleep and get a good night’s rest.

Caring for older adults with sleep disorders can be an overwhelming responsibility. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Coral Gables, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.