Helping Your Elderly Parents Sleep Better at Night

a senior couple sleeping in bedAs we grow older, sleep can sometimes become less restful, leaving us feeling unfulfilled.

Struggling to fall asleep at night not only increases stress, but also can perpetuate a cycle of unrest and fatigue that can affect your daytime activities. As you age, your body becomes more prone to restlessness and elderly insomnia. Here are some elderly sleep tips to help your elderly parents sleep better and fuller.

1. Develop nightly rituals. Before going to sleep, develop a nightly ritual that your parents repeat every night. Drinking a warm cup of tea or playing soothing music every night before sleeping can help signal to your brain that it is time for sleep, and make it easier to fall asleep once you’ve climbed into bed.

2. The bedroom as a sacred place. While your parents may enjoy reading on e-readers or perusing the internet on their laptops in bed, discourage such activities as they can disrupt the body’s ability to feel comfortable and ready for sleep when it is time for bed. Maintain a peaceful sleeping environment by ensuring that your elderly parents’ bedroom is quiet, cool, and void of disruptive noises.

3. A watched pot never boils. While having clocks available in the bedroom is a great way to indicate what time you sleep or wake up in the morning, this is a sure way to ensure that your parents won’t be able to sleep well if they are experiencing elderly insomnia. Help your elderly parents by removing these sources of anxiety, especially ticking wall clocks and analogue clocks that have bright back lights. You want to ensure that your parents’ sleep environment is as peaceful and undisturbed as possible, regardless of what time they go to sleep.

4. Form habits. Encourage you elderly parents to consistently sleep at a set time. This will allow their bodies to adjust to sleep, and make it easier to fall into a deeper and more restful slumber. If your elderly parents have trouble falling asleep, recommend an earlier bedtime as this can allow them time to adjust to sleep and also ensure that they sleep long enough.

5. A full stomach is a happy stomach. While large meals before bed are not recommended before bed, make sure that your loved ones don’t go to sleep hungry. This will allow their minds and their bodies to focus on sleeping rather than their empty stomachs. Additionally, advise your elderly parents to avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol directly before bed as this can disturb the natural melatonin hormones that help with sleep.

6. Exercise. Depending on the physical strength of you parents, recommend daily exercise such as swimming, dancing, golf, or running. Such activities are a great way to help the mind and body relax. If your body feels tired and in need of rest, your mind will be more likely to fall asleep more quickly once you are ready to go to bed.

7. Cat naps. As your parents get older, they will inevitably become more fatigued during the day. Allow them to take naps to help them re-energize. Napping can help with your sleeping problems, helping you to feel more energized during the day and lead to a fuller and deeper sleep.

A little adjustment can go a long way. Help your elderly parents sleep easier by ensuring that they are safe and taken care of. This combined with good sleeping habits can help you and your elderly loved ones rest easier at night.

for families looking for elderly senior home care
Click here to start the Alvita Care Needs Assessment Quiz

About AlvitaCare

Alvita Care is a fully licensed home healthcare company providing premier in home caregiver services to seniors living in New York City and on Long Island NY. With offices in Midtown Manhattan and Hauppauge NY, Alvita Care was founded in 2008 upon the idea of "Care Without Compromise". Our care-giving services enhance seniors' lives, by improving their well-being, dignity and independence. We have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval and pride ourselves with our proprietary caregiver matching process that carefully matches our experience caregivers to each client based on personality and technical skills needed. Alvita Care can help whether you need assistance for several hours a few times a week or you require live-in or around-the-clock assistance. Our caregivers provide assurance and relief to families by relieving their anxiety, knowing that their loved one is safe, happy and lovingly cared for.