Sleeping well is a vital part of staying healthy. If your elder isn’t sleeping well, that’s a problem that you both need to resolve as soon as possible.
Rethink Lighting at Night
Artificial lighting is fantastic because it allows your aging adult to see inside her home even when it’s dark outside. The problem with artificial lighting, however, is that it can trick her body into thinking that it’s earlier in the day than it is. The human body uses complex hormone releases based on external cues, such as lighting levels, to know when it’s time to start shutting down and going to sleep. Lighting that’s too bright can hinder sleep. If it’s safe to do so, consider using lower levels of light before bed.
Develop a Relaxing Nighttime Routine
The human body likes rituals and routines. Each step of the routine lets the body and the brain know what to expect next. So having a nighttime routine that’s relaxing helps to cue your senior’s body in to the fact that it’s time to get ready for sleep. Figure out what works best for your senior, whether that’s reading a book before bed or taking a soothing soak in the tub.
Check the Bedroom for Comfort
If the bedroom isn’t set up for sleeping, then it’s going to be difficult for your elder to get comfortable enough to go to sleep. The recipe for a comfortable bedroom is slightly different for everyone, but you’ll want to look at several factors. Cozy bedding, supportive pillows, and a darkened room can all be important factors. Temperature can also be important.
Encourage Her to Go to Sleep When She’s Feeling Tired
Your senior might feel committed to having a specific bed time. While that can be helpful, if she’s been having trouble sleeping, then sleeping when she’s actually tired and able to sleep might be helpful for now. If she’s worried about keeping up with tasks and responsibilities, fill in for her or hire elder care providers who can take over for her. That way she can focus on getting the rest that she needs.
Sleep can feel elusive for your aging adult for a variety of reasons. If she’s unable to sleep well no matter what, it might be time to talk to her doctor about it.