How To Help Seniors To Sleep Better
It’s important for people of every age to get the rest that they need at night. However, a good night’s rest is particularly important for senior citizens. Because the elderly are more prone to health problems, a lack of sleep can have very serious consequences. These simple tips will help seniors to sleep better at night.
Make Sure They Have A Comfortable Place To Sleep
When people are struggling to fall asleep, it’s possible that their sleeping environment is the culprit. For example, if a room isn’t dark or quiet, it could be hard to settle down at night. If the mattress or the pillows that their resting on aren’t supportive, they might struggle to get comfortable in bed.
Everyone needs to have a comfortable place to sleep. You may have to replace the pillows or mattress in a room to help a senior get the kind of sleep that they need. Even minor changes can have a huge impact.
Do Your Best To Soothe Aches And Pains
A lot of seniors have to deal with aches and pains. Hip pain and back pain are essentially common. The average person can’t settle down to sleep when they’re in a great deal of pain.
That’s why you should try to help the elderly to relieve some of their pain. You may be able to do this by placing pillows around their body if they sleep. If their body is properly supported, they’ll feel less pain.
Give Them Tea Before They Rest
Tea can be a potent sleep aid. In fact, there are types of tea that are specifically designed to help people sleep. The right herbal tea is a terrific way to help a senior get a full night of rest.
If you’re helping a senior that enjoys tea, you should look for a caffeine-free tea that is naturally relaxing. You might want to seek out a tea that is specifically designed for sleep. Have them sit down with a cup of tea before they go to bed. You might be surprised when you see how helpful the right tea can be.
Ensure That They’re Going To Bed At The Same Time Every Night
People often associate bedtimes with children. However, going to bed at the same time every night is something that older people should try to do as well. When you always go to sleep at the same time, it will be much easier for you to fall asleep.
Some seniors don’t have a strict schedule, which means the time at which they fall asleep can vary. If you work with a senior to find a bedtime that works for them, they might find that they get more sleep each night.
If you have a senior in your life that isn’t getting all of the sleep you need, you’ll want to do everything that you can to help them. Sleep is something our body depends on. When someone enters their advanced years, it’s all the more important that they get plenty of sleep.
- Violence and Sleepwalking.
While most sleepwalkers may only run the risk of doing themselves harm due to the fact that the rational parts of the brain are not in control of their actions there is the possibility that they may act out dreams that they are having during the sleepwalking episode – sometimes leading to violence.
- Watch out for Drug Side Effects.
Research has shown that many drugs can encourage sleepwalking behavior. These include drugs such as beta blockers, anti depressants, anti psychotics and strangely enough prescription sleeping pills. If you have a history of sleepwalking you should inform your physician prior to him or her prescribing any medication.
- Goodbye Diet.
Here’s one that is truly strange. Sleepwalking has been known to promote weight gain. There are several instances where people have been on diets but continued to gain weight even though their calorie intake was restricted. The reason – they were binge eating while sleepwalking. The only evidence is the condition of the kitchen in the morning – after all the higher functions of the brain are not operating correctly so that jar of mayo isn’t going to be neatly packed away.
- Sleepwalking and Sexual Assault.
In 2018 a Canadian woman woke to find that she was being sexually assaulted by a long time friend. When he was asked by her what he was doing he simply stared blankly. She called the police. Two years later the man was found not guilty of sexual assault due to ‘sexsomnia’ – a variety of sleepwalking. This is not the first time that this defense has been successfully used.
It’s clear from stories like this that the human mind and what happens to it during our sleeping hours is a fascinating area of study – and one that will continue to be researched for the foreseeable future.