Caring for a family member or a patient has its rewards and hardships. It’s important for both the caregiver and patient to get more sleep and maintain their health so you can provide the best possible care to your loved one.
Sleep patterns change with age, causing many seniors to have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. Understanding why older adults trouble have getting a good night’s sleep can help you improve the situation.
To help you both sleep better at night, you may need to try different things before you find a combination of solutions that work.
- It’s best to try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning
Additionally, it’s best to avoid the following: screen time from 30 minutes to one hour before bed and keep daytime sleep to a minimum, as afternoon napping can lead to a restless night.
- If the client keeps you up at night, perhaps a family member can take a shift for a few nights so you can get rest
If the situation becomes unmanageable, you may have to consider a different shift or client. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
- Consult the client’s doctor
Write down when your patient sleeps and wakes for about a week so you can clearly describe their schedule. Ask if the pain from medical conditions or medication side effects could be causing problems with sleep. Ask if a light pain reliever before bed or a safer sleep aide would be safe and helpful.
- Experiment with lifestyle changes
Keep your older adult on a regular daily schedule. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day helps signal their body that it’s time for bed.