Consult A Doctor
As people get older, it is common to sleep less during the night. However, this should not be taken as a normal situation. If you have a responsibility of taking care of an older person, ask for advice from a doctor.
Enquire if certain medication could be having pain as side effects and if that’s the case, find out whether reducing, increasing or changing the medication and its timing will help to calm the situation.
Consult if taking painkillers before going to bed helps one get better sleep. Because according to research drugs like antihistamines help. You should also take them to be tested for any ailments which affect older people like arthritis.
Change Their Beverage Intake
It is good to reduce their caffeine intake. If they addicted to coffee or tea, switch it with decaf without their knowledge because caffeine is known to make someone lose sleep at night. Their liquids intake before going to bed should be regulated and you should make sure they pee just before retiring to bed. You should also encourage them to take more water during the day and less at night.
Read more: Ideal Room Temperature For Elderly
Check On Their Routine
If you make an elderly person stick to a regular daily routine, their body will get used to it. Therefore, establish a specific duration in which they go to bed. For example, if you decide they should sleep from 10pm to 7am, make sure they achieve that everyday and with time, they will adapt to the schedule.
Also ensure that they sleep less during the day especially in the afternoon so that they can get enough sleep at night. In order to calm them down and ensure that they get enough sleep at night, play some soothing music an hour before bed or do some light massage on their bodies as this loosens up their muscles and helps them sleep quickly.
Focus On Their Comfort
To ensure that they sleep comfortably, ensure that the room temperature where they sleep is moderate and not too cold or too hot. Keep their rooms clean and ventilated to prevent discomfort when they are sleeping. Also check their mattresses and ensure that they are comfortable enough and supportive as well. It is also good to ensure that they sleep with a pillow or a stuffed animal as cuddling the animal when sleeping makes them feel warm and safe.
Minimize Distractions During The Night
When older people get to sleep, it is advisable to ensure that the environment is peaceful and silent enough. Get rid of loud music and any form of noise that will affect them. Holding a party in a house with an elderly person and especially during their sleep time is totally uncouth as it gives them discomfort making them lack sleep.
Take Care Of Their Bodies
Everyone feels comfortable when they are clean and warm. Make sure that the aged person you are taking care of takes regular baths. When going to sleep, encourage them to take a warm bath because after taking a warm bath, the body temperature drops and makes one feel tired. On the brighter side it also helps one feel relaxed and more ready to go to bed. In a cold season, ensure that they a warm enough. You can help them warm up their bodies when it’s too cold by having them sit next to a fire or installing a heating system in the house to regulate the temperatures and ensure that they are comfortable with the current room temperature.
Keep Them Away From Allergies
Establish the allergies which affect the elderly person and keep them away from them. If it is dust, keep their environment free from dust. If they like pets and have a habit of sleeping with them in the same room, make another room for the pets to sleep in.
Check Their Sleeping Positions
Different people have different ways of sleeping. However, the elderly normally suffer from various body pains. Therefore, their sleeping positions should be dictated by whether they suffer from any pain in their body. As indicated in this video, different sleeping positions have different ways of being handled to prevent spinal injury.
There are three different sleeping positions: there are those who sleep on their sideways, those who sleep on the back and those who sleep on their stomach. For the side sleepers, ensure that they have a pillow under their neck and on their shoulders to align their spinal cord well. For the back sleepers, a pillow shouldn’t be added under the neck to prevent their neck from bending forward. For the stomach sleepers, care should be taken to ensure that the spine is well aligned.
In as much as the older person may be used to a certain sleeping position, if they are undergoing any type of pain, it should be the one to dictate their sleeping position in order to prevent more injuries. For someone with back pain, it is advisable to sleep on their side or on their backs.
For those suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis, they are advised to use a reclined bed or an adjustable bed. If an adjustable bed is more expensive, there is a mimic which works the same way known as a bed wedge for those suffering from neck pain and knee pain, they are advised to sleep on their backside or sideways. For general hip pain, they should sleep on their side with their knees bent and for those with a heartburn, it is good to sleep on the sideways in an inclined position.
Observe The Time They Spent In Bed
This can be done by ensuring that they are only in bed when they are sleeping. Once they wake up, they should leave the bed and sit somewhere else. Therefore, they can’t be tempted to go back to sleep again and use the sleep meant for the night.
Improve On Their Diet
Health is a major factor in anyone’s life. Considering old age, poor diet is a major drawback and can make them uncomfortable, sick and weak. It is good to feed old people with plenty of fruits and vegetables as this boosts their metabolism and helps them acquire good sleep and gets rid of any prospective infections.
Finally, it is good to take care of the elderly in all manner of ways and make sure they are comfortable, warm and cosy. It is disturbing to wake up every night and cut off your sleep to take care of them whenever they wake up because of a discomfort or pain. Because this is inevitable among old people, we should focus on improving their sleep and cut down on their discomfort and pain by using the tips I highlighted above. If you have a friend who needs assistance in helping their elderly ones, share this article with them. If it benefited you, please give your feedback in the comments section given below.