Is your senior feeling tired all the time? Or maybe she just doesn’t feel right? If you’ve ruled out other health issues, the problem might be that she’s not sleeping well.
Look at When She Takes Certain Medications
All medications have side effects. Some medications act as stimulants, while others have a more relaxing effect, even causing sleepiness. Pay close attention to when your senior is supposed to take each type of medication. If she’s been taking medications that have a stimulant effect too late in the day, that might affect her sleep. Talk with her doctor about swapping some of those times around.
Find Ways to Help Your Senior to Get Plenty of Exposure to Daylight
The typical circadian rhythm relies on your senior getting plenty of exposure to daylight. This is why people tend to want to sleep a lot more during the colder months, because there is a lot less daylight. Try opening blinds and curtains early in the day or spending some morning time outside with your senior. This can help her body to get the cue to “wake up” and get going.
Watch Caffeine Intake
Caffeine, like medications, can cause some strong reactions in your senior, even keeping her awake for hours longer than she wants to be awake. How much caffeine your senior takes in matters, but it also matters when she has it. Some people are so sensitive to caffeine that having one cup of coffee late in the morning can be too late for good sleep.
Schedule Naps in a Smart Way
Naps are fantastic, but they can cause problems if your senior isn’t keeping some things in mind. First, napping too late in the day is an issue because that can cause her to have trouble falling asleep for the night. If she’s napping for longer than an hour, that’s also a potential issue. Naps that are shorter and that your senior takes earlier in the day are less likely to interfere with overnight sleep.
Help Her to Find a Sleep/Wake Routine
Regular routines are important for your senior’s overall health and well-being in many areas of her life, but especially when it comes to sleep. Finding the right sleep routine can feel complicated to your elderly family member, though. If you’re not able to be there with her, it can help to have home care providers gently prompting her about what happens next in her daily schedule and helping her to stick to wake-up times, meal times, and even to sleep times.
Sleep is one of the biggest ways for your elderly family member’s body to heal itself. If she’s not getting enough sleep, it’s a good idea to talk to her doctor about what might be causing issues.