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Wrong Sleeping Habits Can Lead to Serious Health Issues in Seniors

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By Brenda Enright

Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke

Learn About Better Rest Practices from Home Care Experts

Grandmother enjoying a peaceful sleep

Aging brings all sorts of declining health changes. Appetite decreases; physical activity diminishes, and sleep disorders often arise. Many seniors suffer from short-term and chronic insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, snoring, or REM sleep behavior disorder. The result is a growing population of elders relying on sleeping aids to get a good night’s rest, not all of which may be good for them.

If your father is complaining of fatigue, and he needs a long afternoon nap to make it through the later half of the day, it may be time for him to develop new habits. You can help him stay on track with the right practices. Here are some strategies to improve his sleeping habits from trusted professionals at Home Instead Senior Care.

Tips for Seniors to Wake Up Well Rested

It can be easy to take a pill to help induce sleep, but the side effects can sometimes leave your loved one lethargic, dizzy, and even more dependent on others. There are simple ways to reach a healthy circadian cycle each night and leave your dad feeling well rested and ready to take on the day. Encourage your aging parents to implement these tips:

  1. Choose a regular sleep schedule: Retirement is no excuse for your mom to develop unregulated sleep schedules. By choosing a specific time to go to bed every night, she can train her body to rest. It is a good idea to follow the habit even through the weekends.
  2. Ramp up daily activity: Sitting around the house can be exhausting. The mind is not stimulated, and neither are the muscles. It is easy to get afternoon brain fog and take long naps. Unfortunately, daytime naps lead to nighttime insomnia. By remaining active throughout the day, the body is ready to rest when bedtime rolls around.
  3. Increase vitamin D: Going outside for a half hour to an hour gives the body a boost in vitamin D, which can improve the quality of sleep. During the winter, or in climates without much sun, taking a Vitamin D supplement works wonders.
  4. Refrain from fluids before bedtime: That nightly beer or glass of wine to help your loved one relax may worsen sleep disorders. Also, drinking any liquid before bedtime can result in the need to wake up to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night. Encourage them to hold off on drinking liquids for about an hour before bed.
  5. Warm bath or shower at night: Remember how a warm bath before bed helped your little ones sleep? The same holds true for adults. Warm water relaxes you, and as the body temperature drops after stepping out, the body tends naturally to seek rest.
  6. Create a sleep inducing haven in the bedroom: Another tip is to make sure that the bedroom is designed to sleep. Encourage mom to not eat or watch TV in bed, so she can drift off to dreamland quickly.


Professional Senior Care that Beats Counting Sheep!

Help your senior family member stay well rested and reduce the need for additional medication with simple lifestyle changes. When you cannot be around, a trusted senior care specialist can step in to help. At Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke, we offer elders the ability to remain in the comfort of their homes with a variety of in-home care services and support.

Call us at (416) 239-2200 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality home care we deliver each day to families in the Etobicoke area.


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