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New Jersey’s Expert Home Care for Elders and Seniors provides care for your aging loved ones since 1984. Please call us when your loved one needs help – 800-848-2336.
Q. Senior clients tell me they have difficulty sleeping. What can they do to get a better night’s sleep?
A. No matter what your age, getting the proper amount of sleep is essential to physical health and emotional well-being; it is just as important for seniors as it was when they were younger.
Difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep (insomnia) is a frequent concern for seniors. Levels of growth hormone, which promotes deep sleep, and melatonin, which regulates sleeping and waking cycles (circadian rhythm), decrease with age.
Other causes of sleep difficulties may include certain health conditions, medications, consumption of alcohol or caffeine and a decrease in bladder size. A reduction in activity and exercise levels, not spending enough time in the sun, psychological stress, and sleep disorders such as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), may also be challenges to getting and staying asleep.
Try the following suggestions for a good night’s sleep:
- Keep to a regular sleep schedule, every day; even on weekends.
- Expose yourself to sunlight. At least two hours of bright sunlight each day increases the body’s production of melatonin.
- Separate yourself from noises. Try earplugs.
- Adjust your bedtime to concur with when you feel like going to bed.
- Develop bedtime rituals. Try a relaxing bath.
- Check with your doctor to see if your medications may be interfering with your sleep.
- Take care of your psychological health. Try meditation or relaxation techniques.
For more information check out the following; http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_aging.htm and http://www.statssheet.com/articles/article29583.html.