It’s certainly not easy to get through the day when you don’t have a good night’s rest. For an aging senior who was recently discharged from the hospital to go home and recover, they might be expected to exercise, change their diet, take certain medications, and do other things to improve chances of recovery. If they are not sleeping soundly, that can complicate the recovery process completely.
There are things people can do to help in these circumstances.
If an elderly person is not getting a good night’s sleep, it’s not advisable to just ignore the situation and “hope it gets better.” There are some ideas that can make a world of difference for the senior and anyone else helping them along the way.
Idea #1: Focus on their routine before bed.
When you get ready for bed, what do you do? Most people brush their teeth, get undressed, and maybe even read in bed for a while before trying to fall asleep. If the routine does not get the body ready for the circadian rhythm of sleep, it may be difficult to fall asleep or even stay asleep throughout the night.
For an elderly person following a hospitalization, a lot of changes could be happening. Look at the routine they are working on in the hours leading up to ‘bedtime.” Encourage them to try and go to sleep at the same time every night, do the same things for the last couple of hours, and avoid stimulating activities like watching television. Even though television is a passive activity, the images and action can stimulate the brain too much.
Idea #2: Have them discuss this issue with their doctor.
They might be taking certain prescription medications that are interfering with their ability to get a good night’s rest. They should talk to their doctor about this problem. Most doctors would want to know if their patients are not getting adequate sleep at night because this could impact recovery and lead to a hospital readmission.
Idea #3: Have adequate support.
A home care aide could be a great resource, even if this aging senior is relying on a spouse, adult child, or even a close friend or neighbor for help during those evening hours. A home care aide can assist with many basic tasks of everyday life and that can relieve tremendous pressure and stress from this person’s life, both in the evening and in the morning. Reduced stress can promote a better night’s rest.