6 Main Causes of Sleep Issues in the Elderly

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Poor sleep quality can impact your aging loved one’s health and negatively affect the ability to live independently. However, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening, starting with learning what impacts sleep quality. Below are some reasons seniors don’t sleep well and what you can do to address each issue.

1. Too Much Alcohol and Caffeine

The foods and beverages seniors consume during the day impact how they rest during the night. Alcohol and caffeine are stimulants that keep the brain energized temporarily, and they can damage cells in the body. Your loved one should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine, such as tea and coffee. If your loved one continues to consume these drinks, he or she needs to be mindful of how much caffeine or alcohol is in each beverage.

2. Daytime Naps

Too much napping throughout the day could affect your parent’s sleep pattern. Even when your loved one is only intending to get a short break and relax, a nap can turn into a deep sleep. Limit your loved one’s naps to 45 minutes or less, and make sure he or she rests in the earlier part of the day, as opposed to the evening.

3. Exercising Before Bedtime

While physical activity is vital to an aging adult’s health, your loved one needs to avoid working out at least two hours before bedtime to allow his or her body to wind down. Overworking the muscles before bedtime could lead to restless nights. In addition to exercise, seniors should avoid doing strenuous activities before they go to sleep. 

For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own during the daytime, professional caregivers can be a wonderful asset. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior in-home care. San Antonio Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

4. Medications

The side effects of prescriptions can impact a senior’s mood and sleeping abilities, especially when the senior takes multiple medications. If the medicines your loved one takes prevent him or her from sleeping throughout the night, contact his or her primary care physician to determine if alternative treatments exist. The doctor can also lower the dosage or timing of each medication.

For seniors with health conditions that make it difficult to sleep through the night, having a professional caregiver close by can provide a sense of comfort. For many seniors in San Antonio, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

5. Bad Mattress

Aches and pains in the muscles and joints are a regular part of the aging process, which is why seniors need to sleep on high-quality mattresses. If the bed is too soft or too firm, it could make it difficult to get comfortable, causing your loved one to toss and turn during the night. Make sure to change your loved one’s mattress every few years and that the product is right for his or her posture and back.

6. Smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products is a stimulant that can make it difficult for older adults to fall asleep. The more your loved one smokes, the greater the odds of having insomnia. When using cigarettes, cigars, and other nicotine products, your loved one could experience circadian rhythm changes that lead to poor sleep quality. Seniors need to stop smoking to enhance their sleep quality and overall health.

These strategies can help your senior loved one sleep better, which can definitely enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. San Antonio, TX, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (210) 495-6300 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.


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