Preventing Insomnia for the Elderly

Restless nights are inevitable for everyone. If you find that you are having trouble every night, whether it be trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, you may have insomnia. A good night’s sleep is especially important to older adults to help improve concentration and memory formation, as well as allowing your body to repair cell damage that naturally occurs throughout the day, and helps to refresh your immune system, in turn helping to prevent disease.

Some signs sure fire signs of insomnia are:

In the evening:

  • Taking more than 30-45 minutes to fall asleep
  • Having trouble staying asleep
  • Waking up early, unable to fall back asleep
  • Depression
  • Night falls

During the day:

  • Feeling drowsy, tired or exhausted
  • Complaining of being up all night
  • Depression
  • Accidents due to sleep deprivation
  • Irritability
  • Impaired memory
  • Difficulty concentrating

The Cause

Some core causes of insomnia, especially for elderly people, are; depression, an irregular

sleep schedule, certain medications, lack of social engagement, and consumption of caffeine. To resolve these issues, some simple daily routines can be adopted. Stress and anxiety during the day can interfere with sleep at night. It’s important to learn how to let go stress and worry when it’s time to go to sleep. You can listen to calming music, read a relaxing book, and most importantly, find a friend that you can talk to about the things that trouble you. Getting it off your chest can help improve sleep dramatically.

The Solution

Make sure to speak with your physician about starting a proper exercise routine for yourself to naturally tire yourself. You can also clear out any clutter in your room, and remove any devices that light up, even the smallest of lights can interfere with your sleep. If you are living with an overactive bladder and frequently get up to relieve yourself in the middle of the night, a bedside commode may be helpful. You will decrease the amount of time you have to be up to get to the bathroom and get back to bed, making it easier for you to fall back to sleep.

Be sure to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and go over these options, and ask for more that may be appropriate to your individual problems. A good night’s sleep doesn’t have to just be a dream any longer. Sleep tight.

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