Older Adults and Sleep Problems

Closeup photo of an elderly person sleepingIf there’s one thing that remains constant throughout a person’s life, it’s the fact that we all need sleep. The sad part is busy schedules and lifestyles have come in the way of sleeping, and many of us are finding it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Troubles related to slumber are more common in adult years. This can be a big problem for seniors, as failure to get enough sleep can cause concentration issues and memory lapses. Inadequate sleep, furthermore, won’t give the body enough time to repair any damaged cell, which can compromise the immune system and increase the risk of contracting diseases.

If your elderly loved one is having trouble sleeping, Durham senior home healthcare service providers suggest talking to a doctor to assess if there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Identifying underlying problems is also important in tailoring the right treatment.

Here are some of the causes of insomnia and sleep problems in the elderly:

  • Poor sleep habits like irregular sleep hours
  • Pain or medical conditions (diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Certain medications
  • Stress and lack of exercise
  • Sleep disorders
  • Lack of social activity of engagement

You can benefit from talking to a doctor when helping a loved one with chronic condition or memory problems (Alzheimer’s disease) sleep better.

Here are few tips on managing sleep problems in older adults:

  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Taking a warm bath
  • Keeping a regular sleep schedule
  • Having a comfortable sleep setting
  • Exercising regularly (but not close to bedtime)

It’s never advisable to ignore sleep problems, especially in older adults. Apart from having a compromised immune system, those who don’t get enough sleep are likely to suffer from depression and excessive daytime sleepiness. They can also be susceptible to nighttime falls. Insufficient sleep, furthermore, can lead to serious health conditions like increased cardiovascular disease risk.

Do whatever you can to help a loved sleep better. You can also benefit from hiring a healthcare aide in assisting your loved in their daily activities.