Sleep patterns tend to change when we age. Although total sleep time remains the same, it?s often harder to fall asleep, even though you may spend more time in bed. Older people average three or four ?wake ups? in a night, due to physical factors like the need to urinate, anxiety, or pain. Because seniors sleep more lightly and wake up more often, they may have a feeling of having less sleep, even though their sleep time has not changed.
Sleep deprivation can cause confusion and anxiety and may be also a symptom of depression. Sleep itself can reduce that, so consult a health care provider to determine if it is depression, or ?other health conditions that are affecting your sleep.
Seniors respond differently to medications, and if depression is affecting your sleep, antidepressant medications can be helpful, but consult a Doctor or health care provider or Home Care Nurse/Caregiver before taking any sleep medication. Avoid sleep medications if at all possible.
How to get a good night?s sleep:
- A light bedtime snack increases sleepiness. Warm milk contains an amino acid that acts like a sedative.
- Avoid stimulants and caffeine at least 3 or 4 hours before bed.
- Don?t nap during the day.
- Exercise moderately in the afternoon.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time each morning.
- If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up, read or listen to music.
A professional Home Nurse/Caregiver can treat insomnia, depression and other sleep disorders by monitoring their patients diet and medical treatment to insure a safe and therapeutic sleep.