Home care providers at ComForcare work with clients on all aspects of their health and comfort including nutrition, personal hygiene, exercise, and rest. Each of these factors is important for a happy independent lifestyle. Unfortunately, for many seniors, getting the right amount of rest can be difficult.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, seniors experience a harder time getting the seven or eight hours of sleep each night needed to feel rested and refreshed in the morning. The common causes of sleep problems among the elderly include:
– Age-associated changes in the sleep-wake cycle.
– Age-associated reduction in the body’s production of “sleep hormones,” such as melatonin.
– Smoking and increased consumption of alcohol or caffeine.
– Pain or illness
– Taking certain medications
– Disorders such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome
– Lack of exercise
In order to get a better night’s sleep, consider the following expert tips:
• Listen to your body and adjust your sleep pattern, if necessary. You may find that your body is ready to go to sleep earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. Home care nurses can help you make the adjustment by preparing evening meals earlier, drawing curtains, or helping you sent an alarm for an earlier wake-up time.
• Often times sleep problems are treatable. Find out what’s causing your insomnia, be it stress, anxiety, depression or something else and then talk to your doctor about the best treatment.
• By improving your daytime habits, you will improve your sleep habits. Continue exercising daily, stay positive, get some sunshine, and limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Home care agencies often have caregivers available to assist with light exercise or to accompany you on walks or outdoor activities.
• Set yourself up for a better nighttime schedule. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool. Don’t read from a backlit device such as an iPad or reading tablet. Move clocks out of view and dedicate your bedroom only for sleeping.
• Watch what you eat and stay active. Avoid large or spicy meals before bedtime and try to eat at least three hours before you go to sleep. Share your goals with your home care service so they can assist you with the schedule adjustments.
• Don’t stress. I know, easier said than done, but make relaxation your goal, not sleep. Practice slow, steady breathing techniques and clear your mind; your body will naturally drift off to sleep.
• Talk to your doctor. You may be on a medication that contains caffeine or a combination of pills that cause sleeplessness. You won’t know until you ask!
Remember, when trying to adjust sleeping habits, consistency is the key! Be sure to discuss your goals with your family and home care service providers so they can support you. By making a few small adjustments to your eating, exercise, and relaxation habits, you may be able finally create a healthier sleep cycle.
Home Care Services from ComForcare Home Care
ComForcare is a premier provider of private-duty home care services to people of all ages with offices conveniently located nationwide. We can help make life easier for those coping with a chronic medical condition, recovering from an illness or injury, or dealing with the challenges of aging – in the comfort of their own homes. We offer elderly care services including personal care, homemaking, transportation, companionship and family respite services to improve the quality of life and level of independence for every individual and family receiving our services. Each ComForcare office is independently owned and operated.
ComForcare Home Care
2510 Telegraph Road, Suite 100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302