Who doesn’t love getting a good night’s sleep? The problem for so many of us, however, is that we just can’t seem to get enough sleep at night. For many Canadians, it’s busy schedules that keep us up longer than we’d like each day. It’s so hard to find enough time in our days to complete everything on our to-do lists, isn’t it?
Then again, for so many other Canadians, it’s the medical issues that prevent restful, deep sleeps at night. Seniors generally fall into this category. As we age, good sleep is harder to come by. And that’s why measures need to be taken in order for older adults to get the sleep they need. So what steps can seniors take to sleep better at night?
Keep a sleep journal.
Perhaps, the first step one should take, when trying to get more sleep, is to track just how much sleep he/she is getting. Make note of the times you go to bed and the times you wake up. According to Dr. Leslie Kernisan on BetterHealthWhileAging.net, keeping a sleep journal helps older adults to better assess the help they need.
“For older adults, it is especially important to not simply rely on prescription or non-prescription (e.g. alcohol, over-the-counter pills) substances to help with sleep,” she writes, “That’s because all such substances worsen brain function and increase the risk of cognitive decline.”
Don’t lie in bed for a long time trying to sleep.
This may sound like odd advice, but don’t just lie there. Sometimes, restlessness is worsened by the stress induced by the disappointment in not being able to fall asleep. Instead of tossing and turning, get up and leave the room. Bringing your mind to a calmer state is integral to finding the restfulness you need.
“After 30 minutes, get up and go to a different room,” advises Chartwell.com, “Do something quiet, such as reading or listening to music. Don’t do anything that stimulates your brain. Then, go back to bed and try to fall asleep.”
Ask your doctor about Restless leg syndrome (RLS).
As explained by Dr. Kernisan, RLS is a condition that causes itching, crawling or restlessness in a person who is trying to fall asleep. While the symptoms aren’t usually considered painful, they tend to impact the comfort of seniors enough to keep them awake at night.
“Studies suggest that 5-15% of the general population meet criteria for RLS, but only 2.5% of people are thought to have clinically severe symptoms,” informs Dr. Kernisan, “Poor health, older age, low iron levels, and being female are some risk factors. It also tends to run in families. Why it’s a problem: RLS has been associated with depression, anxiety, and sleep-onset insomnia. It can also get worse with certain types of medication.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we care a great deal about the comfort of older adults. We want to help you understand what mobility solutions and bedroom accessibility devices are available so you have the information you need to determine the best solution for you in your home.
For more information about how we may be able to help the senior in your family to sleep better at night, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!