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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
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Guest Blog by Bobbie McGowan of RE/MAX Affiliates Geoff & Bobbie Realty Ltd.
As the years pass, we collect mementos in our homes. Some have tremendous sentimental value, whether it’s your grandfather’s war medals or the snow globe from your last vacation. Other items simply seem to collect with no thought or objective, from magazines to old clothes to mismatched flatware. When the time has come to downsize from the family home, it becomes time to say goodbye to many of these items, some more treasured than others.
There are many situations that call for decluttering. Are you getting ready to downsize and need to pare down your possessions? Are you sick of storing junk in the basement and want to turn it into a hangout zone for the grandkids? Has an accumulation of stuff has started to affect the enjoyment and comfort of your home? Here are some convincing advantages of decluttering your life:
When you begin hiding stuff inside other stuff, or shoving things out of sight for cleaning purposes, it’s time to address the real problem of hoarding too many items. As thing begin to pile up, it can quickly turn any surface or space into an unclean environment. Dust mites and allergens for example, can build up and settle, contributing to a stuffy environment. Decluttering is necessary to keep your home nice and clean. Especially as the years pass and it becomes harder to bend down and clean in those tiny crevices, leaner is cleaner.
For some people who experience a more intense level of hoarding, this can actually place themselves and loved ones at a greater risk when it comes to safety concerns.
In extreme cases, clutter can start to cause a safety concern. Is clutter blocking access to a doorway or window? Is there junk in the way of the furnace or electrical panel or blocking ventilation? This makes it difficult to get out quickly in an emergency situation and increases the risk of a fire.
In addition, dust naturally clings to clutter –whether it’s old furniture, clothing, or books. And of course, dust contributes to poor air quality, which exacerbates symptoms for those with allergies, asthma, or other lung difficulties. Decluttering clears the air – literally.
Peace of Mind
When you spend the time tossing out items that you no longer use and organize your living space, it means that you can spend less time having to look for items and deal with a disorganized environment in the future. Thus, you get more time for yourself to relax. Many studies have proven that when you organize your living environment, it directly benefits your emotional and mental state of mind. It boosts your ability to focus, along with concentration and even creativity.
Makes Downsizing a Breeze
Do you have too much home now that the kids have moved out? Are you tired of paying money to heat and cool such a large house? Is going up and down the stairs becoming a challenge? When it’s time to downsize and you need to fit your life’s worth of stuff into a smaller space, decluttering is a must. There’s nothing worse than feeling like your new apartment or condo is bursting at the seams with belongings that bring you no joy. By spending time sifting through, tossing away, and donating your excess items to those in need, you can help yourself and others, while making the downsizing process much easier.
Don’t let clutter stand between you and your best life. This spring, reward yourself by decluttering.
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