If your elderly family member is having trouble sleeping, it’s highly possible there’s more than one contributing factor. Some of the culprits might even be things you wouldn’t have thought would be an issue for her. Here are some of the possible causes of trouble sleeping, and how elderly care can help.
Double Check Her Pain Levels
Pain, especially chronic pain, has a tremendously negative effect on your senior’s quality of life and likely also on her ability to get the sleep that she needs. Sometimes people with chronic pain don’t mention it, simply because it’s always there. If your elderly family member is also dealing with cognitive changes, she may not be able to mention her pain to you. Finding ways to monitor pain can help you to be more helpful to your senior.
Consider Medication Side Effects
Some of the medications that your senior takes can have a huge impact on her ability to sleep well. Medications that make her drowsy likely don’t fall into this category, but others, like blood pressure medications or diuretics can have impacts well into the night even if your senior takes them in the morning. Talk to your senior’s doctor about how her medications affect her sleep so that you can work together to make changes if necessary.
Add Some Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral present in a variety of common foods, like nuts, bananas, and spinach. The right levels of magnesium allow your senior’s body and nervous system to relax, which can lead to better sleep. It’s also a vital mineral for cardiovascular health.
Increase Physical Activity
Physical activity, even just a little bit, can be really helpful in improving your senior’s ability to get the sleep that she needs. Always check with her doctor about whether exercise is safe for your senior to do and make sure to start out slowly. Gradually she may discover that exercise helps her to fall asleep sooner and to stay asleep throughout the night.
Help Her to Express Her Feelings
Stress has a huge impact on your senior’s ability to sleep well. It might seem like she doesn’t have all that much to be stressed about, but everything from health issues to worrying about family members can plague your senior. Helping her to express and to work through her feelings can help her to manage stress and to feel better able to live the life she wants to live. Activities like journaling and mindfulness can be extremely helpful.
It’s tricky figuring out exactly what’s affecting your senior’s ability to sleep. Having help from elderly care providers can bring someone into your senior’s world who might notice something you didn’t think to check. They can also help your senior to handle a variety of tasks that are becoming more complicated.