What Helps Aging Adults Get Better Sleep?

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Many elderly people experience insomnia, which can be related to medical or psychological disorders, medication side effects, or simply the fact that they don’t require as much sleep as they used to. Whatever the reason, it’s important that seniors get enough restorative sleep so they don’t get overly fatigued. Here are some ways you can help your elderly loved one sleep better. 


Encourage Mild Exercise

One of the most effective ways for seniors to sleep better at night is to get more exercise during the day. Exercise promotes the release of chemicals known as endorphins, which encourage more recuperative sleep, diminish the perception of pain, and induce feelings of wellbeing and relaxation. 

Encourage your loved one to take a stroll during the day when the sun is bright. Walking may prove beneficial for a restful night’s sleep, and the natural sunlight may help your loved one’s body manufacture vitamin D, a nutrient vital for optimal sleep. Before your loved one starts a new walking regimen, talk to a physician to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to withstand additional exercise.

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 you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Frederick families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. 


Reduce Diuretic Medications

Diuretic medications are often prescribed for seniors to treat high blood pressure. While effective in treating hypertension, diuretics—also known as “water pills”—cause frequent urination, which can severely disrupt sleep patterns. Constantly waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom can have deleterious effects on emotional health. 

If your loved one is losing sleep because of frequent nocturnal urination, ask the doctor if the diuretic dosage can be lowered. Lowering the dose won’t stop all instances of frequent urination, but it may decrease episodes of nighttime wakefulness.

For seniors with health conditions that make it difficult to sleep through the night or cognitive issues that lead to confusion upon waking, having a professional caregiver close by can provide a sense of comfort. For many seniors in Frederick, 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 Assisting Hands Home Care, we extensively screen all of our 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.


Monitor Room Temperature

Many elderly people enjoy sleeping in rooms that are very warm. While warm room temperatures may help them fall asleep faster, sleeping in a room that’s too warm may disrupt the recuperative sleep cycle. Lower the temperature in the bedroom when your loved one retires for the night, explaining that he or she may enjoy more restful sleep. Provide plenty of blankets in case your loved one gets too cold. 


Offer Sleep-Inducing Foods

Foods rich in magnesium and potassium can induce sleep so your loved one doesn’t wake up during the night. Encourage your loved one to eat a banana or a few nuts before going to sleep, as this promotes drowsiness and may also relieve nighttime leg cramps. Seniors sometimes complain of leg cramps, which are often related to poor circulation, diuretic use, or dehydration. If your loved one takes medications known as beta blockers to manage a heart condition or high blood pressure, talk to his or her physician before offering potassium-rich foods, because these medications can raise serum potassium levels. 

These strategies can help your loved one sleep better, which can 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 senior home care. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.