An annual campaign to promote good sleep to the public takes place during the first week of March. Its goal is to raise awareness and provide education to the general public on the importance of sleeping.
A topic of interest to home care providers of elderly persons is the sleep health and safety category. The emphasis is to educate the public on the consequences of sleep disorders that go untreated. Many seniors report they have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
What can home care providers do to help their loved ones get a better sleep?
- Help the elderly person set a schedule so they’re going to bed at the same time each night, preferably with the same routine.
- Help them set a time for getting up each morning to keep it consistent each day of the week. Sleeping in when the weekend comes messes up a person’s sleep cycle and makes it more difficult to get back on schedule with good sleep.
- Encouraging regular exercise, preferably 20-30 minutes minimum per day. This exercise should not take place in the late afternoon or evening as it may interfere with the attempts to fall asleep.
- Help the elderly adult to avoid caffeine containing drinks and other stimulants. Alcohol is one of the culprits for robbing a person of a deep sleep.
- Relaxing routines for the aging loved one will help to soothe and calm them in preparation for falling asleep. A warm bath or reading a book are two tried and true remedies.
- Exposure to morning sunlight for at least an hour has been shown by research studies to help a person reset their biological clock and feel sleepier as night approaches.
- Try not to let the elderly person experience overly large amounts of anxiety over not being able to fall asleep. If they are lying in bed for hours stressing over it, it doesn’t have a good outcome. Instead, it’s recommended they get out of bed and do something until they feel more tired and try again.
- Extreme temperatures of either hot or cold aren’t helpful to promoting good sleep. The temperature should be comfortable; just slightly on the cooler side of daytime temperatures.
- A person should see a doctor if sleep problems persist. When it happens night after night and affects a person the next day, it’s not good to let it go on for too long. It could be a fairly simple thing the physician can help with. Lack of sleep causes a lot of problems that just cascade on each other when it goes on too long.
- The home care provider can make sure your elderly loved one is being taken care of properly, which includes a restful sleep each night!
For more information about caregiving services in Florissant MO, contact Senior Services Unlimited. We are an elder care agency providing affordable and respectful home care to couples, veterans, and the disabled. Call (314) 646-8131.