Sleep-Promoting Exercises for the Elderly

By , 9:00 am on

Some seniors tend to wake easily, have difficulty falling asleep, struggle with body-clock issues, and often experience insomnia, making a good night’s sleep seem impossible. However, research suggests exercise can help seniors have more restful nights. After clearing a new physical routine with your loved one’s physician, San Antonio home care experts recommend trying the following exercises.

Walking

Many seniors experience disruptions to their natural body clock, which results in difficulty falling asleep at bedtime. Moderate aerobic exercise combined with exposure to natural light in the morning hours can reset the body’s biological clock, restore a more natural sleeping pattern, and help the body recognize sleep signals in the evening.

Pumping Iron

Seniors who lift weights three times a week experience substantial improvements in sleep. The chemicals released during intense anaerobic exercise relieve stress and anxiety, and promote sleepiness several hours later, when the body wants to recover from the exercise. It is important to lift weights at least 3 hours before bedtime or the exercise could actually impair your loved one’s ability to fall asleep. To remain safe, encourage your loved one to lift weights when you or an in-home caregiver can be present to provide assistance if necessary.

Dancing

Many seniors find themselves feeling drowsy shortly after the evening meal and succumb to a late nap. Napping at this time of day disturbs the body’s clock and can make it impossible to get restful sleep at night. Avoid this pattern by scheduling a social activity that involves light exercise for about an hour after dinner, like dancing, which can also improve coordination, balance, and muscle memory.

Stretching

Performing a short, relaxing stretching routine right before bedtime promotes better sleep. A simple yoga routine or just some gentle, slow stretches can ease sore muscles and relax the mind, helping seniors fall and stay asleep.

Sometimes, seniors have a hard time falling asleep because of stress, anxiety, or even depression that can result from growing challenges with everyday activities. If that sounds like your senior loved one, it might be time to consider home care in San Antonio. As a leading provider of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in San Antonio, our caregivers are capable of handling a wide range of senior care needs and can help with everything from personal grooming to running errands. To learn more, call a friendly Care Manager at (210) 495-6300 and schedule a free in-home consultation.

 





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