Easy Ways to Battle Sleep Problems of Elderly People

“It’s past midnight and you are still wide awake. For more than three hours, you have counted every tick of the clock.” Does this ring a bell? Indeed, this scenario is very familiar specifically to elderly.

Many people age 60 up suffer from sleep disorder. Sleeping problem comes in different types including insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. We need to get enough sleep for our body to rebuild and rejuvenate; thus, continuous lack of sleep can cause negative effects – physically and mentally. Remedies for this sort of disorder are varied. One can opt for medical ways, which of course involves taking medicines. Or, you can opt for very simple ways.

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Pick Good Mattress

Notice if you sleep on stiff, hard mattress – you will feel pain in your body specifically on the back part the following day. Whereas if you sleep on soft and very comfortable bed, you will be lulled to deep slumber easily. Remember bed plays vital role in getting good sleep.

And so, elderly people must choose a mattress properly. There are factors to think of to pick the most suitable one. Firstly, test the firmness of the mattress by lying on the it for at a few minutes. Do this on every mattress that interest you. Secondly, check mattress’ height. Don’t buy a high mattress if you find it difficult to get up on it. Just a few inches above the floor would do. A good mattress can give you good night sleep.

Drink Warm Beverage

Warm up your tummy before going to bed. Drinking a cup of warm milk before bedtime can help you get a good night sleep. For a long time, warm milk has been used as remedy for sleeping problem irrespective of age bracket. How it helps? Some claims that warm milk releases tryptophan, which ignites the body motor system to produce melatonin – sleeping hormone.

If you are not a milk lover, you may opt to drink other beverages like chamomile tea or herbal tea. Make certain that your drink is not too hot to avoid scalding your tongue.

Say No to Caffeine Before Bedtime

In contrast to drinking warm drink to help you sleep, there are exceptions to this practice. Not all warm beverages are good sleep aids. A good example of this is coffee. Many elderly loves to drink coffee anytime of the day, especially if the weather is cold. Yes, drinking coffee might help you during daytime. However, it will make you struggle in falling asleep at night.

Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks a few hours before bedtime. Caffeine substance can make you stay wide awake even if you are lying on your bed for hours. Have your coffee in the morning or afternoon, but not before bedtime. Coffee addict? If you are really craving for coffee during nighttime, try to reduce the amount. Eventually, you will be able to control yourself to say no to caffeinated drinks at night.

Freshen up With a Warm Bath

Some elderly people do not like taking a shower during the night for two reasons: they are too tired to do it and they believe in the urban legend that bathing at night can cause health problems. But according to some studies, warm bath can help the body calm down and relax. Sleep is thought to be induced quicker if the body feel warm – just like wrapping oneself in a soft, warm blanket.

So, it is highly advisable for older people who are suffering from sleep disorder to take a warm bath before going to bed. Warm water will not just freshen you up, but it can relax the tired muscles as well. Be sure to estimate the temperature of the water before bathing – not too hot. Furthermore, you can soak yourself in the bathtub with warm water. Pour a small amount of aromatic oil essential to help you relax your mind. Notice how you will be lulled into sleep after the warm bath.

In Conclusion

For elderly, getting a good sleep is very important. It is during this time that every system do repairs to get the body ready for the next day. Older people need sufficient rest since they are prone to many kinds of diseases. Lack of sleep could mean weakling body and weak immune system. The above mentioned ways are just some of the many. There are others you can try.

Side Note

If sleep disorder is already hard to deal with, consult a doctor to get prescription. Ask your doctor if you need to take a medicine every night. Often times, doctors give recommendation about long you should take it. Several medical breakthroughs might help you deal the disorder. Otherwise, you might consider getting medical assistance device, like Medical Guardian.

Do you know some simple means to battle sleep problem? Share them.

Ashley O'connor

Ashley O'connor is a passionate writer based in San Diego, California. She loves to write just about every kind of topic but has made a specialization in travel, health, family, home and education.

One thought on “Easy Ways to Battle Sleep Problems of Elderly People

  • July 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Good suggestions. For my elderly patients with insomnia, also often recommend:
    – consistent start the day time
    – morning light exposure
    – some type of regular exercise
    – regular short nap
    – social interaction
    – reduced TV before bed

    After work life, retired people can struggle with sleep due to lack of consistent wake time. Stimulus control instructions should be followed closely until sleep improves.

    Thank you,



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