Contrary to popular belief, sleep disturbances aren’t, and shouldn’t be, accepted as a normal part of aging. With age, a person’s circadian rhythms have changed. This simply mean an older person may go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than a younger person. However, this doesn’t mean seniors should be getting any less sleep than their younger counterparts. Here’s how sleep disorders can impact quality of life in the golden years and what to do about them.
How Can I Identify a Sleeping Problem?
If you provide care for an aging parent and notice he or she only sleeps a few hours each night, it’s only a problem if fatigue begins to overtake his or her life. For instance, if your loved one has a difficult time keeping his or her eyes open during the day, dozes off during conversation, seems excessively sleepy when driving, or has an increasingly difficult time remembering things, you may need to look more closely at his or her sleep habits.
Getting plenty of sleep each night can help older adults stay healthy. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Chandler 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.
How Can Lack of Sleep Affect Daily Living?
Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, heart disease, and mood disorders, and it often causes physical health to decrease as the result of not having enough energy to exercise. Along with these physical issues, insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep) is often very closely linked to depression and anxiety. Because sleep can impair mood and impaired mood can result in impaired quality and quantity of sleep, it can be difficult to tell which came first—the sleep loss or the depression. If you notice either symptom in your loved one, it’s best to schedule an appointment with his or her primary care physician to better pinpoint the problem and find a solution.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Are There Specific Causes and Solutions?
For the elderly, one of the major factors that causes sleep disorders is medication. As your loved one is prescribed more and more medication to control his or her health, the chances of the medicine disturbing the natural sleep cycle are higher. If you believe your parent has a sleep disorder, discuss all medications with his or her doctor to determine if there’s a better alternative that wouldn’t affect sleep. The stress and anxiety of changes in life can also cause your loved one to not sleep well. If this seems to be the case, find ways to relax your parent in the evening. Perhaps a warm bath and glass of milk will do the trick, or maybe he or she likes to relax and read the newspaper at the end of the day. Help your loved one establish a bedtime routine that gets his or her body relaxed and ready to enjoy a restful night of sleep.
Family caregivers also need to get plenty of sleep every night. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Chandler, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To schedule a no-obligation consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (480) 448-6215.