What Causes Lack of Sleep in the Elderly?

Why Do Seniors Have Difficulty Sleeping?

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The elderly are prone to sleep difficulties that interfere with their energy and vitality. Over time, a lack of sleep can also break down the immune system and put seniors at greater risk of having accidents at home and while driving. Knowing about these common causes for a lack of sleep in aging adults can help you keep an eye out for signs your senior loved one needs help getting rest.

Reading on the Phone

Seniors are no different from younger people when it comes to getting addicted to their electronics. Often, seniors may try to relax before bedtime by reading on their phones, then hours can go by as they get distracted. It should also be noted that phones emit blue light, which can have a negative impact on sleep. Encourage your loved one to put his or her phone away at least an hour before bedtime, then help him or her find relaxing things to do before going to sleep, such as talking to a caregiver or reading a paperback book.

Outside Stimuli

Your loved one’s sleep environment is also affected by things that happen outside the house. For example, a streetlight glaring through the window could make it difficult to fall asleep. Alternatively, street noises could wake your loved one up. Try to pick a bedroom for your loved one that’s away from the front of the house where stimuli from the street could wake him or her up. If you cannot move the bedroom, use shades and white noise to eliminate those minor annoyances.

Incontinence

There’s nothing worse for a senior’s sleep than having an accident in bed. Your loved one then has to change clothes, and he or she may take a long time trying to do that task as well as make the bed. If your loved one has incontinence, arrange for a caregiver to stay overnight. The caregiver can quickly help your loved one get cleaned up and replace the sheets so he or she can go back to sleep again.

For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to get to the restroom during the night, a professional caregiver 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 senior home care. Chandler Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Nighttime Anxiety

If you’ve ever lain awake at night worrying over bills or some other concern, you know how many seniors feel. Your loved one may have difficulty sleeping if he or she worries about a health condition or how to meet his or her financial obligations. Your parent may even worry about something happening to him or her at night, such as falling down in a dark hallway. Make sure your loved one has the necessary support to feel safe when he or she goes to sleep at night.

For seniors with anxiety that makes it difficult to sleep through the night, having a professional caregiver close by can provide a sense of comfort. For many seniors in Chandler, 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.

Pain

Pain from injuries and other causes tends to get worse at night. Encourage your loved one to follow his or her treatment plan and take medication as prescribed so he or she is less likely to be surprised by pain at night. Exercising during the day and doing a few light stretches before bed can also reduce pain that wakes your loved one up.

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. Chandler, AZ, 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. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 480.448.6215 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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