Best Tips to Help Seniors get Sound Sleep at Night
Sleeping through the night can be difficult or impossible for seniors dealing with pulmonary challenges due to coughing, wheezing, and other problems. Fortunately, there are some helpful tips to make it easier to get the sleep they need to stay as healthy as possible until their symptoms pass and they feel more like themselves again. Here are a few tips for helping elders with pulmonary symptoms sleep better at night:
1. Maintain Proper Ventilation
Helping seniors sleep better can be tricky. Part of it is that they may suffer from breathing difficulties while sleeping, and another part of it could be that they feel trapped in their bed because of other symptoms, such as dizziness or tinnitus. Try out a few sleeping positions that will help seniors feel comfortable and free of discomfort so they can get some much-needed rest. Moving around could alleviate claustrophobia, which contributes to a lack of sleep.
2. Maintain Comfortable Temperature Levels
Slumber becomes restless and disrupted when the room temperatures are not right. During the winter, a furnace might have to be run constantly to maintain acceptable sleeping conditions. In warmer weather, air conditioning may have to work overtime to keep temperatures at an optimal level for sound sleep. You may not be financially or logistically, able to adjust all of your family member’s living arrangements or climate control systems. But keeping thermostats low and windows open during waking hours can help seniors achieve better sleep throughout the night. If you’re concerned about your family member’s lack of sleep due to temperature changes, talk with their physician about what can be done so they can get restful sleep again. In addition to helping them improve their quality of sleep.
Some things that can help include:
- Maintain regular sleeping hours: Most adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night, though individuals vary slightly on average. Seniors should follow the guideline of going to bed around the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning. They should also go to bed at roughly similar times on weekends and weekdays though it’s alright if sometimes there is slight variation here.
- Avoid daytime naps: Napping during daylight hours can disrupt sleep patterns and make it more difficult for seniors to fall asleep at night. If your family member needs a midday break from their normal routine, they can use that time for socialising or other activities less likely to interfere with nighttime sleep quality.
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime: Caffeine has a half-life of about six hours in most people. It means that 50% of its effects will wear off after six hours have passed since its consumption. While seniors may metabolise caffeine more slowly than youngsters, they are still likely to feel its effects for longer than most other age groups. If your family members like their cup of coffee or tea, encourage them to drink it earlier in the day rather than later.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is one of many things that can help improve sleep quality and quantity for seniors. There is no need to go overboard here; even mild exercise like walking can improve overall health and sleep patterns. If you’re concerned about your family member’s lack of sleep due to physical limitations or mobility issues, talk with their physician about what can be done so they can get restful sleep again.
- Keep bedrooms dark and quiet: Bright lights and noisy environments disrupt normal sleeping patterns by causing wakefulness during night hours. If your family member has trouble sleeping due to noise or light levels, consider installing blackout curtains in their bedroom or using other methods of soundproofing that can help them achieve better sleep throughout the night.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime: Many people enjoy a glass of wine or beer, but alcohol is more likely to disrupt than help people fall asleep faster. If your family member has trouble sleeping due to alcohol consumption, talk with their physician about what can be done so they can get restful sleep again. In addition to helping them improve their quality of sleep, it is also important that elders practice good sleep hygiene as well.
3. Maintain a Comfortable Bed
There’s a reason people always sleep better in their beds. The mattress, pillows, sheets, and positions of sleeping are all familiar. Make sure an elderly family member’s bed is set up according to their preferences. And if you’re helping care for someone unable to move around freely on their own, consider getting them a padded frame that allows for safe and easy transfers from their chair or wheelchair.
4. Get Tested for Sleep Apnea
While lack of sleep is a common symptom of COPD, many patients also complain of not being able to get enough shut-eye. Some COPD patients have also been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops during sleep and can lead to poor sleep quality. As a result, you need to get tested if you think you may have obstructive sleep apnea. If an oxygen machine isn’t enough, talk to your doctor about getting a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine that regulates your breathing while you’re asleep. While an oxygen concentrator is a costly option, it will help keep COPD symptoms in check and prevent some expensive hospital visits down the road due to exacerbations and lack of restorative sleep.
5. Promote Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is about creating conditions to help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Create a sleeping environment that’s dark, quiet, and comfortable.
- Ensure your bedroom is cool so you can fall asleep more easily.
- Your bedroom should be used for sleep and sex only. Don’t eat in there or do activities like watching TV that might keep you awake.
- If your snoring keeps others awake, talk to your doctor about remedies
- Finally, try changing sleeping positions throughout the night, so your body doesn’t get too stiff while resting in one place all night long.
With ageing, sleep patterns change, and lung health gets worse. Many elders who suffer from pulmonary issues are more likely to have difficulty breathing throughout their sleep. In addition, many seniors experience excessive daytime sleepiness and poor quality of life due to a lack of proper nighttime sleep. Following simple strategies can help improve a senior’s respiratory status while allowing them a better night’s rest. If you or someone you know is having trouble sleeping due to some pulmonary conditions, consult your doctor today.
Why do seniors struggle to sleep at night?
Various factors cause insomnia and sleep problems in seniors. Sleep problems arise if the sleep environment and night habits are poor. These include sleeping at odd hours, drinking alcohol before bedtime, and taking a nap with the TV on. Ensure your room is relaxed, dark, and silent, and your bedtime traditions are sleep-inducing.
Why do seniors get up so early?
A person’s body clock (circadian rhythm) begins to shift by about half an hour every decade beginning in middle age. As people grow older, their body systems produce less melatonin, starting to cause them to awaken up early.
Which fruit promotes sleep?
Cherries and cherry juice have elevated amounts of melatonin, a hormone in the central nervous system that regulates sleep. One research study found that having a tart cherry juice drink could help people with insomnia sleep better.