Aging brings about several changes. Your skin is less supple. Vision changes make it harder to read the fine print on labels and documents. Hormonal changes may have hair falling out or appearing in new places. There’s one area that’s harder to manage and that’s sleep.
Older adults face several sleep disorders that can make it seem impossible to get a full night’s sleep. These sleep disorders may be making it hard for your parents to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Insomnia is a condition where you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. It can lead to restless nights where you spend more time tossing and turning than getting the restful sleep your body needs.
What causes insomnia? It can be the side effect of some medications. It can be stress keeping the mind going when you’re trying to sleep. Sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint any clear cause.
It helps to create a nightly routine. Going to be an hour early and reading a book before settling down to sleep may help. White noise that drowns out traffic noise or the sounds of others in the household makes it easier to stay asleep.
It’s not abnormal to lose some level of bladder control as you age. If your parent goes to the bathroom more than twice per night, it can be a condition known as nocturia. Several things can lead to this. Diabetes, congestive heart failure, some prescription medications, and UTIs are all possible.
The problem is that getting up multiple times per night disturbs sleep patterns. Your parent has to fall back asleep from an awake state. The interruption makes it hard to fall and stay asleep. Talk to your mom or dad’s doctor about treatments.
Sleep apnea is a medication condition where breathing stops. Some of the signs are loud snoring or having a dry mouth when you wake up. With sleep apnea, breathing stops for a little and starts back up with a gasp or choke.
Those chokes and gasps may wake the person up. Sleep patterns are interrupted and require time to fall back asleep sometimes. As a result, you wake up in the morning but don’t feel well-rested. If sleep apnea is suspected, talk to a doctor and ask about a sleep study. Sleep apnea can be dangerous if oxygen levels dip.
Don’t let your mom’s lack of sleep impact her daily activities. If she’s having a harder time getting enough sleep at night, take a closer look at her habits.
With help from an elder care aide, she can change her activities and improve the odds of sleeping through the night. Call an elder care agency to arrange companionship services, transportation, and other important services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Washington Township, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Attentive Care Inc. 1-800-493-5660
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