5 Sleep Problems Frequently Experienced by Aging Adults

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Sleep Challenges that Are Common in the Senior Years in Fort Myers, FL

A good night’s rest can be elusive for some seniors. Common sleep problems such as insomnia make it difficult to fall and stay asleep, causing them to feel tired and irritable during the day. Identifying and treating common sleep issues can help your aging loved one enjoy more of each day

1. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea symptoms can cause frequent waking throughout the night, leading to poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, pauses in breathing followed by gasping for breath while sleeping, and feeling tired after a full night’s rest. This condition is treatable using a breathing machine. The machine uses pressurized air to keep breathing passages open at night. Your loved one’s doctor may prescribe a sleep study to determine the cause of the poor sleep quality. Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

2. Digestive Issues

Gastrointestinal upset, including heartburn, constipation, and acid reflux—also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD—can keep your loved one awake at night. Exercise and a healthy, fiber-rich diet can prevent some common digestive issues. Some fermented foods promote healthy digestion. Look for foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha, all of which contain live cultures to promote good digestion with probiotics. Prescription medication is also an option for persistent and severe digestive issues that interrupt sleep.

When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep issues, you can be better equipped to help him or her get high-quality rest. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Fort Myers, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

3. Disrupted Routines

A bedtime routine helps your loved one prepare for a better night’s rest. For seniors with dementia or other cognitive conditions, routines are essential. Try to stick to the same routine every night, and encourage your parent to avoid watching television or using devices for at least three hours before bed. Artificial light from TVs and electronic devices can interrupt the natural production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for feelings of sleepiness. Instead, your loved one should opt for relaxing activities, such as reading, in the hours before bedtime.

4. Restless Legs Syndrom

Itchy, twitchy, and irritated feelings in the legs are common for seniors with restless legs syndrome. The symptoms are most active during the evening and overnight hours and cause seniors to continuously move their legs in an attempt to find a comfortable position. Some seniors may attempt to relieve their discomfort by walking or pacing at night. Exercise can reduce minor symptoms of this syndrome, or your loved one’s doctor might prescribe medication to relieve more severe symptoms 

5. Daytime Naps

An afternoon nap can reduce nighttime sleepiness, making it difficult for your loved one to maintain a restful sleep schedule. To combat the mid-afternoon slump, find engaging activities that keep boredom at bay. Some easy afternoon activities to consider include taking a walk around the neighborhood and visiting with friends and family. If your loved one can’t leave the house, schedule regular visits online. Video chatting services are free and allow your loved one to keep in touch with friends and family that live further away.

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Fort Myers, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (239) 449-4701 today.

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