As we age, it can sometimes be more difficult to get an adequate amount of quality sleep. Seniors can often be plagued by restless nights due to ongoing sleep disorders. Even the healthiest seniors cannot stop the aging process, and with advancing age comes the inability to sleep well.
There are some great techniques seniors can implement to help improve their sleeping habits.
Sleeping habits become better when there is a routine in place. Designating a set time to wake up in the morning and go to bed at night and sticking with it will help to retrain the senior’s body and allow them to stick to that schedule.
Developing an exercise routine will also help seniors sleep better. The exercise does not need to be strenuous. Something as simple as taking a short walk or working in the garden is enough. However, the timing of the exercise is important. Seniors should avoid exercising within six hours of bedtime. Also, seniors should talk to their doctors before starting any exercise program.
Seniors should expose themselves to sunlight during the afternoon and early evening. Doing so will help the body reset itself and begin to get ready for bed. The exposure to the sun does not need to be direct; looking through a window is sufficient. The key is to allow the eyes to see the light.
It’s perfectly fine for a senior to nap during the day. However, to avoid having sleeping issues, naps should be limited to one hour or less and should occur before 3 p.m.
Fewer liquids consumed later in the evening will result in fewer trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Also, avoid consuming alcohol within six hours of bedtime, and stop drinking anything containing caffeine, including coffee, tea, and soda, around lunchtime.
Taking a warm bath is soothing and can prepare a senior’s body for a good night’s rest. Once the bath is complete, and the senior gets out of the tub, the drop in temperature will bring about a feeling of tiredness.
Calm down before bed
At any age, a typical day can be stressful. About an hour before turning the lights out, seniors should turn off electronic devices and spend some time doing something relaxing such as reading a book or listening to soft music.
Use the bedroom only for sleep
Seniors should train their minds to think of the bedroom as a sleeping area. If sleep has not come after about 20 minutes of lying in bed, they should get up and go to another room in the home. They should only return to bed when they are tired enough. As you train your mind to think of the bed as a sleeping-only area, the body will follow.
Helping you through the process
If your parent or loved one needs more help than you can provide, contact Oasis Senior Advisors for assistance. We offer resources for seniors and their families, as well as support and guidance every step of the way, so you can feel confident in your senior housing selection. Deciding to make the move to a long-term care community is an emotional, financial, and physically taxing process, but you don’t have to do it alone.