Dealing with sleeping problems
Unfortunately, sleeping problems are common in old age; however, this should not be considered regular Sleeping less is certainly not expected in old age. Sleep is essential for our loved ones, as it is for the younger generation. Statistics have revealed that more than 50 percent of the elderly population (aged 65 years and above) experience sleeping problems. Some common symptoms of sleep problems for our loved ones include excessive sleepiness during the daytime, waking up very early in the morning, difficulty falling asleep, and inability to maintain sleep. Dealing with sleeping problems and being careful not to irritate the condition any further can cause strain on you as the caregiver. Here are some great books to help you now.
Sleeping problems become more of an issue as we age.
As our loved ones age advances, both men and women tend to sleep less and experience many kinds of sleeping disorders. Furthermore, many of our loved ones who do not get enough sleep often fall prey to depression and are at a higher risk of suffering from cognitive decline than those who get proper sleep every night. Also, spending less time in deep sleep mode aggravates sleep quality. At the same time, certain diseases and medical conditions, social changes, shifts in circadian rhythm, and medications can also interfere with the regular sleep pattern.
Some of the common reasons for sleeping problems include the following:
- Stress/grief: The loss of a loved one or moving away from family can be a significant cause of focus for the elderly.
- Daytime sleep: Reduce daytime sleep to avoid sleeplessness during the night.
- Menopause and hot flashes: Hot flashes, as well as night sweats, are expected during menopause, which significantly interferes with sleep.
- Physical inactivity: Not getting enough exercise is also one of the significant reasons for insufficient sleep.
- Insufficient sunlight: Staying indoors and getting less sun exposure can also interfere with quality sleep.
- Socially inactive: Being socially inactive, or spending less time with friends or not interacting with family members, can also be a significant factor for improper sleep during the night.
Sleeping problems can cause several issues.
Many of us experience trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually, it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your routine. Furthermore, sleeping less can also pave the way for chronic degenerative diseases to sneak in, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, breast cancer, and weight issues. Therefore, specific steps need to be adopted by caregivers to promote better and quality sleep in the elderly. But before this, it is also necessary that family members and caregivers carefully understand the actual phenomenon behind the lack of sleep in older adults.
Take note of the sleeping problem symptom
Carefully taking note of the symptoms of lack of sleep and discussing the same with the doctor will help the caregivers understand the issue and give the elderly the right kind of treatment for the problem. In addition, understanding the actual cause behind improper sleep will allow the doctors and the caregivers to check out an individualized treatment plan.
Adopt the following strategies to promote better sleep:
- .Get treated for underlying medical conditions, such as chronic pain that may interfere with the sleep pattern.
- Getting treated for depression can also promote a good night’s sleep.
- Limiting the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
- Studies have postulated that older adults who exercise regularly have less trouble falling asleep at night than those who don’t. Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to induce sleep in the elderly
- Bright lights in the bedroom can interfere with sleep. They can also slow down the melatonin hormone’s production (the one responsible for rest). Therefore, it is best to opt for dim night lamps that do not directly hit the eyes and interfere with sleep.
- If possible, consider keeping the computer, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets out of the bedroom. If not, switch them off for t least an hour before bed. This prevents the bedroom from overheating.
- Dietary habits have a lot to do with sleep problems during the night. For example, older adults must not consume spicy foods and large meals for dinner. Also, make dinner meals as light as possible for easier digestion.
- Complete dinner at least 3 hours before going to sleep. If this makes the elderly hungry during sleep, give them light snacks to munch on.
- Drink a glass of warm milk before sleeping. It is a good practice that promotes better quality sleep.
- Cut down on the intake of liquids before going to bed. This will minimize the number of visits to the toilet and help the elderly get a peaceful sleep. All these sleep habits can help the elderly avoid many common sleeping problems. Getting good sleep during the night minimizes many issues and helps older adults live a quality life.
When to call a doctor
If you’ve tried a variety of self-help remedies without success, schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist or ask your family doctor for a referral to a sleep clinic, especially if:
- Your main sleep problem is daytime sleepiness, and self-help hasn’t improved your symptoms.
- You gasp, choke, or stop breathing during sleep.
- You sometimes fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while talking, walking, or eating.
Then it is time to call a doctor. Again, provide your doctor with as much supporting information as possible.
Sleeping problems can be horrible, but we can learn to fall asleep fast. With the above tips and suggestions, It can be challenging to attend to your loved one with sleeping problems, but it’s not impossible. With the proper knowledge, you can do this. Remember to care for yourself and keep your business going while caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey; schedule a planning session with me to look at how to keep your life and your business running smoothly.