People tend to sleep more lightly when they age than when they were younger. It becomes normal to wake up during the night due to achy joints or the need to use the bathroom. Catching a restorative nap during the day can compensate for a loss of sleep.
Issues with Daytime Sleeping
Daytime sleeping becomes a concern only when an older person spends most of their time lying in bed instead of living. If you want your aging loved one to stay awake during the day and sleep better at night, you’ll have to find out why they’re napping so much.
You may need help from a doctor to narrow down the cause of daytime sleepiness in some cases and prescribe therapies. Understanding what to look for can give you a start on enhancing the sleep schedule of a senior.
Top 4 Reasons Why Seniors Sleeping Habits Change
1. Senior Boredom
As people age, they will suffer from chronic problems of health and age-related changes affecting their ability to do the things they enjoy. When there are limited opportunities for trips, events, and entertainment, it can take a serious blow to the quality of life of an elder.
2. Medications Altering Sleep
Medications have side effects, so it should come as no surprise that taking multiple medicines could cause reactions that enhance these effects. Furthermore, older people metabolize drugs differently than their younger counterparts, making them even more vulnerable to adverse effects such as drowsiness and dizziness.
If your loved one takes one or more medications, talk to your doctor about the side effects and alternative options. They may even find that in their treatment there are some medications that could be reduced to lower doses or entirely withdrawn. Simply changing the timing of a senior’s doses can sometimes boost their daytime alertness.
3. Senior Sadness
Many seniors are depressed and lose interest in life, but a natural part of aging is not depression. Many people know the basic signs of depression, but the red flags can be a little different for older people. Sleep problems and fatigue can often reflect the mental health disorder of a loved one.
4. Dementia Affecting Sleep
Most seniors with dementia, especially in the later stages of the disease, experience a wide range of sleep problems. As the brain deteriorates, problems arise with circadian rhythms and temporal memory, making it difficult for people with dementia to sleep through the night and maintain a normal schedule.
Planning daytime activities, scheduling brief naps as needed during the day, and adhering to a set schedule of sleep is the best non-pharmaceutical methods to encourage good sleeping habits. A solid routine will benefit a loved one very effectively.
Why Staying Active Is So Important
It’s important that they are encouraged to participate as fully as possible in life. This helps to promote a high quality of life by offering plenty of opportunities for social interaction, mental stimulation, and physical activity. In addition to their hands-on duties and personal schedules, it is almost difficult for many family members to take care of all these needs.
Entrust of DeSoto: A Resident-centric Memory Care Community in Dallas, Texas
Entrust of DeSoto is a memory care community that puts resident well-being at the center of everything we do. We know that each person is unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of services and lifestyle options to nourish the body and create community.
We understand the importance of home cooked meals and nutrition for seniors and this attitude is reflected in our dining experience. If you or a loved one live near Dallas, Texas and need assisted living, contact Entrust of DeSoto today to learn about our 24-hour care and find out how we can help.