Seniors with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping through the night, and many wake up early in the morning even after a restless night. The good news is there are natural ways for seniors to manage insomnia and enhance their quality of life. Here are some ways you can help your aging loved one treat insomnia.
Turn Off Lights and Background Noises
Light lets seniors know they should be awake, and darkness sends signals to the body that it’s time to sleep. When it’s time for bed, make sure the bedroom is completely dark. A few hours before bedtime, start dimming the lights around the home so your loved one’s brain will begin releasing the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps the mind reach its peak in the middle of the night. Turn off any televisions and radios to prevent the background noises from waking your loved one up. Turning off the TV also prevents the room from being filled with lights and colors that project from the device’s screen. Having any light in the space could inhibit the secretion of melatonin and cause sleeping problems.
When a senior has health conditions that make it difficult to rest well, a professional caregiver can be a tremendous asset. For many seniors in Waterloo, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
Perform Breathing Exercises
While doing yoga or other breathing exercises, your loved one’s muscles will tire out. The techniques also relieve tension and stress in the body and calm the mind. Stress and anxiety have adverse effects on the body and can prevent the immune system from functioning correctly, cause digestion issues, and disrupt sleeping patterns. When seniors do breathing exercises like yoga before bedtime, blood flow increases to the brain and stimulates the glands in the nervous system responsible for releasing sleep hormones and suspending consciousness.
For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own, professional caregivers can be a wonderful asset. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care services. Waterloo Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Take a Warm Bath Before Bed
When your loved one gets in a tub of warm water, his or her temperature will rise naturally, and the cooling-down period takes places immediately after the bath. The warm bath will essentially relax your loved one’s body before bedtime and help him or her fall asleep, reducing the risk of restlessness and other sleep issues associated with insomnia. After the bath, set the bedroom to a comfortable temperature and make sure your loved one’s clothing isn’t too loose or tight when he or she lies down to sleep.
Increase Exposure to Natural Light
Going outside and enjoying the fresh air can have many physical and mental benefits for older adults. Exposure to natural sunlight helps seniors fall asleep because the body recognizes the contrast between light in the day and darkness in the evening and sends signals for melatonin production to start when it’s time for bed. The best time for seniors to get out and enjoy the natural light is in the middle of the day. Seniors with midday light exposure generally experience an increased release of melatonin at night.
When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep difficulties and use the strategies outlined above, you can help him or her sleep better and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Waterloo, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 519-954-2110.