Your Aging Parents are Getting Less Sleep! Here’s What You Can Do to Help Them Get Enough Z’s
August 30, 2017
They say that the one thing children have to remember is that as they grow up, their parents are also getting old. What this essentially means is that children should not take small things for granted: make that phone call, reply to that text message, buy them a nice gift on their birthday, be home for Christmas, and let them spoil their grandchildren once in a while. This also means encouraging them to live a healthy life and live it in full.
It is a common misconception that the need for enough quality sleep declines as we age. Sleep health remain constant for adults. However, there are changes to sleep patterns that happen as part of the aging process. As a result, they have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep, and this is why it is important to address sleep issues of the elderly and help them get enough zzz’s that are essential to a healthy life.
Sleep deprivation among seniors is often attributed to illnesses, medication, and anxiety. They still have a lot of worries even at their age. Luckily, there are a lot of ways on how to help old people sleep better. From diet and physical activity to healthy sleeping habits and comfortable sleeping items for elders.
Yes, there is something you can do.
Pain, pain go away
Pain in the muscles and joints are common among elderly people. Their backs always ache and they feel stingy pain on their feet or ankles. Apart from herbal oils and therapy, proper sleep care for the elderly could help, starting with mattresses that are up to the task.
If your parents are always complaining about pain in their muscles and joints, consider getting them an orthopedic mattress. Uratex Philippines has a line for sleepers with orthopedic needs. The Orthocare Balance uses Orthofirm foam for pressure relief and back support. The firmness helps ensure proper spine alignment. It is also made of specialized fibers that leave a cooling effect for a more relaxing sleep. Finding the right bed mattress for aging parents is key in making sure they are comfortable, they feel no pain, and they are well taken care of even during sleep.
Create a sleep haven
Our parents oftentimes feel that even the simplest pleasures are excesses. But sleep isn’t something to be guilty about, so create for them the sleeping environment they deserve.
Seniors can be more sensitive about noise so make the room as soundproof as possible. Sound machine and earplugs can also help. Make sure the room is cool enough, not too cool as that may make them uncomfortable but get to know their preferred temperature. Keep it dark with blackout shades and remove possible disturbances such as TV or gadgets, if they are into those types of things. Finally, make sure their bed is comfortable, sheets smelling nice and soft, pillows cuddly. The Senso Memory Ultima Plus Cervical Pillow is not only comfortable, it has a contoured shape for enhanced neck support and alleviation of pressure points. Made of memory foam, it is a perfect pillow for elders because it is extra plush and formulated with hydrogel beads and a cool knit fabric for a refreshing sleep.
Oops, bed is wet
Bed wetting or sleep enuresis affects a lot of seniors around the world. This is often caused by genetics, urinary tract infection, diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea, stress, anxiety, medication, and some forms of cancer. If your aging parent has been experiencing this, causing them to lose sleep, there are medical and lifestyle treatments that you can help them with. To make them feel more comfortable at night, you may also add a layer of comfort and protection to their mattress. The Premium Touch Mattress Protector is made of water-repellant fabric that protects against liquid, stains, and odor. With this, the mattress isn’t only protected, their sleeping environment also remains pleasant.
Get them moving
What you do during the day, or what you don’t do, can have adverse effects to your sleep health. One way to address sleep issues of the elderly is to encourage them to exercise and get moving. As parents age, they feel they are not strong enough to do physical activities. But even light exercises can help them sleep better at night.
A survey found that 56% to 67% reported having a good night’s sleep after engaging in light, moderate or vigorous exercises. There are senior-friendly exercises that aging parents can do or you may also provide them exercise machines that are recommended for seniors to inspire them to move. Their environment is also important. Make sure they can at least walk around the neighborhood.
Exposure to sunlight
Encourage seniors to get outside and be exposed to sunshine. This helps maintain one’s body clock. It knows when it is day and when it is night. Expose them to sunlight by making sure their house is well-ventilated with windows. Have breakfast with them on the patio. Walk around in the neighborhood. But of course, don’t forget the sunscreen as the sun can be really harmful to the skin. And also, stay hydrated.
Keep stresses away
We all get stressed every now and then, but when stress hits seniors, it is much more difficult to manage. According to a Harvard Medical School journal, as the cells age, heart fitness declines, and their natural stress response isn’t as good as before. As a result, some seniors suffer from sleep difficulties.
There are a lot of things you can do should your parents be unable to manage stress effectively. Talking to them, listening to them, and giving counsel would be a great help. Exercise would also help elders shake off the tension. Then, of course, there is medication. You may also get them a mattress that will help reduce stress. The Orthocare Biorythmic helps restore balance and regulate biorhythm through the use of special minerals. Improving biorhythm helps reduce stress and helps you relax and focus.
Sleep medication is last resort
If your aging parents are having trouble sleeping, don’t give them a pill right away, and definitely without the doctor’s order. There are many natural ways to help old people sleep better, and medication should be the last resort. Older adults should not be taking sleep medication on a long-term basis, and whenever they do, they should be monitored closely. Sleep medication could be addicting and habit forming.
A good night’s sleep could be the best gift you can ever give your aging parent. They have gone through so much in life, and efforts to keep them comfortable would pale in comparison to their sacrifices. Help them live a full life in their twilight years by making sure they sleep well at night.