There is no doubt that aging brings about many physical changes, but it also can affect sleep patterns. Many elderly patients of our hospice care in Medina, Ohio struggle at night with getting and staying asleep. This can result in frustration at night and fatigue during the day.
Many physical and non-physical factors can impact sleep, including pain or discomfort, the sleep environment, underlying health issues, pharmaceutical side effects, and stress. The best course of action is to speak personally with a healthcare professional to ensure expert counsel on your unique circumstances. However, our nursing team at Remembrance has gathered helpful tips that may help your loved one in getting a good night’s sleep. As a hospice provider in Ohio that cares for many senior patients, we understand the struggle. We know that it can be challenging for patients with an underlying illness to get to sleep and stay asleep for the recommended eight hours per night.
- Try to experience natural sunlight every day
If possible, allow your loved one to spend as much time as tolerable outside during daylight hours. If it’s not possible to go outside, have your loved one exposed to natural light through windows as much as possible. The internal body clock can be influenced by sunlight exposure, which in turn can affect the length and quality of sleep at night.
- Establish and maintain a routine
Plan out your senior loved one’s sleep regimen. Our caregivers often do this for our patients to help provide a comfortable, easy routine that initiates rest. This might include any evening grooming, reading or being read to for 15-30 minutes, soft music, and dimming lights slowly (if possible). To align your loved one’s internal clock, start this routine at the same time daily and encourage him or her to go to bed at the same time each night.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment that is conducive to rest
Make sure that the room where your loved one sleeps is peaceful. Ensure that the bed is comfortable, there are no distractions, the lighting is low, and there are no loud noises.
- Eliminate needs to get up
Encourage and help your senior with using the restroom before or during his or her evening routine. Limit fluids as it gets closer to bedtime (unless there are concerns with hydration). Have any items right next to the bed that your loved one might need should he or she wake up. This might be medication (already in the specific dose), water, cough drops, tissues, or anything unique to your loved one’s needs.
If your loved one has a life-limiting illness, you can also seek assistance from our care team at Remembrance Hospice. We offer professional hospice care in the comfort of your home. If your senior loved one is otherwise healthy but has continued difficulty sleeping, consult a healthcare professional, as it could potentially be a sign of an illness.