You know that eating well and exercising is important to keeping your aging relative as healthy as possible. But, did you know that sleep is just as important? However, in today’s busy world, people tend to value getting more done, even at the cost of sleep. As a result, we may forget the importance of sleep for ourselves and others, including our older family members.
Benefits of Sleep
When it comes to sleep, experts say there are many reasons to get more of it and to improve the quality as well. Benefits health care professionals associate with sleep are:
- Improved Cognition: Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have trouble with cognition, concentration, and productivity.
- Lower Weight: The research concerning sleep and weight, isn’t conclusive. However, some scientists believe that not getting enough sleep could lead to weight gain because being tired may affect a person’s desire to follow healthy habits. There is also evidence that shows people who get enough sleep tend to consume fewer calories.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease: During sleep, the body gets a chance to regulate blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, by getting enough sleep, seniors may also improve heart health.
- Less Inflammation: Studies indicate that sleep deprivation may increase inflammation in the body.
How to Help Seniors Sleep Better
There are many ways older adults can improve the amount and quality of sleep they get at night. The Mayo Clinic offers this advice specifically for older adults:
- Discuss medications with a doctor to determine if any of them might be affecting sleep. If so, find out if there are alternative treatments.
- Avoid drinking within 2 hours of bedtime to reduce trips to the bathroom during the night.
- If pain wakes the older adult during the night, taking a non-prescription pain killer may help.
- Limit naps during the day to between 10 and 20 minutes.
- Limit caffeine intake.
- Keep the bedroom as dark as possible and limit use of screens at night as they can promote wakefulness.
Another tip that many experts recommend is keeping a regular sleep and wake cycle. Going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning can help seniors to fall asleep during the night by queuing the body when it is time to sleep.
Senior care can partner with family caregivers and older adults to improve sleep. Senior care providers can help your aging relative to stick to a routine that includes getting up and going to bed at the same time each day. Senior care providers can also drive the older adult to the doctor to discuss their medications. If the older adult permits, the senior care provider can even sit in on the appointment and take notes for them. In addition, senior care providers can remind the older adult to avoid drinking before bedtime.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Dallas, TX please contact the caring staff at Sunlife Home Care today at (877) 888-1311.
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