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Sleep Aid for Seniors: 5 Ways to Help Your Loved Ones Sleep Better

Sleep Aid for Seniors: 5 Ways to Help Your Loved Ones Sleep Better

Are you worried about your elderly loved ones’ sleep quality? You’re not alone. In fact, many people worry about their aging parents or grandparents’ ability to fall asleep. According to U.S Pharmacist, more than 50% of geriatric patients have reported repeated difficulty falling and staying asleep, trouble waking, waking up too early, or needing to nap without feeling rested.

So what can you do to help your elderly loved ones sleep better? Do you have an elderly loved one who needs some extra help getting to sleep? Or maybe they need help staying asleep once they get into bed? Here are five tips of sleep aid for seniors to help them sleep better.

Healthy Sleep Habits

Control nap time during the day. Seniors maybe love to take naps during the day, but Sleep Society warns if you want to take a nap during the day, don’t exceed 45 minutes or it can lead to deep sleep and interfere with your normal body clock to fall asleep at night.

Control screen time. UC Davis Health indicates that the blue light from cellphones, tablets and computers signals our bodies to stay awake. Therefore, control the screen time and do regular exercises among seniors can help with sleep problems.

Keep the same sleep schedule and bedtime routine. Don’t mess up the sleep schedule especially among seniors, also help your loved elderly ones with reading, soothing music or a warm bath or face-washing to cue body and brain it’s time to slow down and to go to bed.

Healthy Sleep Hygiene

Reduce caffeine intake. Seniors might like to drink some cups of coffee for their retired lives but too much caffeine intake could damage their sleep at night,so try to reduce the caffeine intake later in the day or evening when it gets closer to bedtime.

Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol consumption could help you sleep at the moment but as UC Davis Health says: “alcohol can’t necessarily help you stay asleep or sleep well in a long run.”

Sleep Tracker

For some seniors, sleep disorders happen because of low blood oxygen so they can have the best sleep once they’re charged their bodies’ cells with oxygen.

It’s likely this might be a case for your loved ones. However, you’ll have to understand blood oxygen during sleep first.  Now, having an affordable sleep tracker can be useful.

Go2sleep could be a choice as your sleep tracker. It can track sleep data all night to understand blood oxygen, provide comprehensive sleep report with accurate data. Besides, it’s small and light. More importantly, it offers you the best value and Sleep Foundation named it the best value sleep tracker of 2022.

Click to learn more.

Talk It Out

According to Michigan Health, “talk therapy” can help people with serious sleep issues, like insomnia. You can get the therapy from psychologists and clinical social workers trained to provide it, or you can just ask your seniors to talk it out, about their daily lives, their problems, and their stress. Sometimes, just talking can solve some issues. 

Sleep Aid for Seniors Over the Counter

Many resources, including Mayo Clinic, have recommended some easy-to-get medication or just supplements over the counter to help senior improve their sleep during the night:

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Diphenhydramine is known as a drowsy or sedating, antihistamine as it makes you sleepy. Side effects might include daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, and urinary retention. If you take it at night, it can help you fall asleep faster.
  • Melatonin. Being naturally reduced by aging, melatonin is a natural chemical found in plants and animals and has long been associated with control of the sleep–wake cycle, indicated by Wikipedia. Research suggests supplements that consist of melatonin might be helpful in reducing the time to fall asleep — although the effect is typically mild. Headaches, nausea, and daytime sleepiness are common side effects.
  • Valerian. Valerian is an herb commonly used for sleep disorders, especially insomnia. Supplements made from this plant can sometimes be taken as sleep aids for seniors. Although the knowledge of valerian is limited because few studies have been done to analyze its effects on different conditions.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that sleep is essential to good health and sleep and wellness are related, especially for seniors. But just because your loved ones don’t feel like sleeping doesn’t mean they should force themselves to stay awake. Instead, try the tips above to help you get a better night’s sleep.

At first try to adjust your loved ones’ unhealthy sleep habits and hygiene, also use a sleep tracker, like Go2Sleep, to understand their sleep better. Then ask them to talk things out. Eventually, if help from the sleep aid over the counter is needed, try them out to improve the sleep at night.

Here is more information about Go2Sleep:

Click to learn more.

References:

Assisting Seniors With Insomnia: A Comprehensive Approach

10 common mistakes in fighting ‘coronasomnia’ — the inability to fall and stay asleep

COVID-19 is wrecking our sleep with coronasomnia – tips to fight back

Best Sleep Trackers

8 Tips to Help Older People Fall — and Stay — Asleep

Sleep aids: Understand options sold without a prescription

Melatonin

Valerian – Uses, Side Effects, and More

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