How to Help Your Senior With Insomnia
Regardless of age, sleep never stops being important. Sleep is the key to ensuring the body has time to recover and recharge from the day. Seniors are especially prone to insomnia, as sleep patterns begin to change as we age. Medications have also been known to cause a disruption in a senior’s sleep patterns.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Those affected may notice an inability to feel refreshed after a night’s sleep, have a difficult time going to bed at a reasonable hour, and are unable to concentrate during the day.
Insomnia in seniors can cause a huge risk to their health and wellbeing. The effects of lack of sleep can increase the risk of the senior falling, as well as irritability and digestive issues. Seniors should first consult with their doctor to figure out what the right course of action should be. To start, here are a few ways you can support your senior during this restless time.
Keep a diary: A sleep diary may help the doctor pinpoint the issue. In the days and weeks leading up to the appointment, help the senior keep a sleep diary by providing them with a notebook and offering to sit with them and act as their scribe as they say aloud their entries.
Show your support. Caregivers can make the senior’s nighttime routine more peaceful by helping them avoid TV or cellphone light before bed and opting for some light reading or casual conversation. Caregivers can also give the senior assurance that they will quickly be by their side with support in case the senior needs them during the night.
Stick to a routine. Create a plan for the day, being transparent about what the senior needs to get done. List out what errands need to be run, appointments to head to, chores to complete, when they’ll eat lunch, and even when it’s time to sit back and relax. This will allow the senior to get themselves on a schedule, letting their body and mind know what’s next.