As we age, our bodies begin to experience physical changes that affect everything in life, including our sleep patterns. Many necessary medications may also have side effects that can negatively impact your sleeping schedule. That’s why so many seniors struggle to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re looking for ways to help out mom and dad to get the rest they need to maintain optimal health, try these seven solutions for a proper rest.
1. White Noise
If your parent’s bedroom is heavily impacted by interrupting sounds from the outside, you might want to try using a device that creates white noise. White noise drowns out and absorbs peripheral sounds that can prevent people from falling asleep. This simple addition can drastically improve the quality of sleep, without being awoken by surrounding noises.
Your body naturally produces the chemical melatonin, which works to set your body’s circadian rhythm. But as one grows older, melatonin production declines and doesn’t deliver the same impact it once did. An over-the-counter melatonin can help to reset their sleep patterns and promote sleep, but always speak to the doctor before use.
If you’ve ever been tired after eating turkey, it’s the tryptophan to blame. Tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes serotonin - a chemical that works to regulate your sleep. So, assist your parents to stock up on tryptophan-rich foods that they can eat at dinner or as a snack before bed. Eggs, nuts, seeds, and tofu are a few options.
4. Block Out Light
Your body’s sleep patterns are regulated by the exposure to light and darkness. When there’s light present, your brain signals to the other parts of the body that it’s time to feel awake. If you switch out your parent’s blinds to black out curtains or simply provide an eye mask, their brains will signal to the rest of the body’s functions that it’s time to sleep.
5. Soothing Bath
Running a hot bath with Epsom salts will soothe and relax otherwise aching and jittery muscles that might be keeping them up at night. Plus, the hot water will also work to increase their internal body temperature so when your mom or dad gets out of the water, they’ll experience a quick decrease in temperature that’ll assist them in getting to sleep easier.
6. Alter Medications as Needed
Many seniors take medication that has side effects that can impact their sleep. If you suspect it’s the medication that’s the problem, take the initiative to talk to their doctor. They may be able to change the dosage, or suggest an alternative medication or approach.
7. Increase Daily Exercise
Try setting up an exercise program for your mom and dad that ensures they get 30 minutes a day of light aerobic exercise. Believe it or not, aerobic exercise has been proven to improve sleep patterns.
Sleep is important to maintain optimal health, especially in your later years. If you notice your mom and dad are struggling to get a proper night’s rest, try these easy to implement solutions, and talk to a professional who can help you better understand their needs.
At Assurance Home Care, the health and safety of your loved ones mean everything to us. Get in touch to learn more about senior health tips!
- Stephen Bleeker