Older People and Their Sleep Patterns…

Often, when we look at older adults’ health issues, the importance of sleep and rest is often discounted or perhaps even ignored altogether. Older people who don’t get enough sleep may seem forgetful, disoriented, or confused. Wandering behavior can become a very real possibility.

Take notice of sleep patterns in your older parent or loved one:

  • How well do they sleep at home?
  • What is their bedtime and rise time?
  • What are their bedtime rituals?
  • Night-time environment (lights, temperature, clothing, etc.).
  • How often and how long are they awake?
  • What are their leisure activities?
  • What medications are they taking?
  • Do they sleep alone or with another person or pet?
  • What is their satisfaction with life in general?
  • What is their overall health status?
  • What foods or fluids do they consumer before going to bed?
  • How often do they go to the bathroom during the night?

If they are having problems sleeping, have them try these tips:

  • Maintain the same daily schedule for waking, resting, and sleeping
  • Wake up at the time each day, even if their sleep has been interrupted
  • Have a bedtime routine and keep with it
  • Get physical activity each day, but stay away from active exercise at night
  • Take naps at the same time each day, no longer than 2 hours long
  • Try soaking in a warm bath early in the evening or late afternoon
  • Stay away from drinks containing caffeine, especially in the afternoon
  • Attempt relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, massage, reading, etc.
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol, or drink only a small amount each day
  • Try eating a light snack of carbohydrates and healthy fat before bed
  • Use the bed for sleeping only
  • Try a non-stimulating activity, such as reading

Should you suspect irregular sleep patterns, consult with their medical personnel. Trouble sleeping may be an indicator of a more serious health issue. Visiting Angels NJ home care is always ready to help should your elder loved one need assistance at night.

Photo source: www.morguefile.com