14 percent of elderly persons between the ages of 65 and 80 take prescription sleep medications on a regular basis, according to the United States National Poll on Healthy Aging. 23 percent of seniors rely on sleep medication occasionally. When a caregiver helps a loved one to create a pre-bedtime routine, avoid computer monitors and smartphones before turning in and stay away from food three hours prior to bedtime, and a senior’s sleep habits may improve dramatically.
Create a Pre-Bedtime Routine
According to the Sleephelp.org website, creating a pre-bedtime routine for a senior is one of the keys to helping a loved one avoid the ill effects of sleep deprivation, which include daytime sleepiness, cognitive problems, irritability, depression, cardiovascular health problems and greater risk of chronic diseases. To establish a routine, a caregiver should make sure that a senior has a set bedtime each night. A warm bath before bedtime is also a smart component of a good pre-bedtime routine. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology shows that pre-bedtime warm baths positively impact the sleep quality of seniors.
Keep Seniors Away from Computer Monitors
Lots of seniors enjoy using computers and smartphones, just like everyone else. However, using electronic toys before bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, according to a wellness blog post at The New York Times website. Devices that emit blue light, such as many electronic gadgets, are enriched with short wavelengths which negatively impact melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone which induces sleep. Encouraging seniors to stay away from blue light emitting-devices sixty minutes prior to bedtime should help them to enjoy better rest.
Avoid Offering Food 3 Hours Before Bedtime
According to the Health.harvard.edu website, everyone (including the elderly) should try to avoid eating for three hours before bedtime. It’s one of the secrets of stopping the endless tossing and turning. Healthy, small snacks are ok and may even be beneficial. Examples include apples and beverages which are known to promote sleep. Big meals are tough to digest and they keep the body working when it should be in sleep mode.
Try These Sensible Tips Today
Seniors sometimes need support to feel their very best. This is where loving and dedicated caregivers come in. When a caregiver puts these sleep-enhancing tips into action, a senior may fall asleep with ease and enjoy restful sleep all night long.