5 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep to Improve Safety for Seniors

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

March 30, 2017

Senior Care in Fox Chapel PA: 5 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep to Improve Safety for Seniors

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for people of all ages. The average person should be getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Yes, there are those who feel they operate fine on just a couple of hours of sleep every night, but they are not going to be as healthy, focused, or positive if they’re not getting adequate sleep every night.
For a senior who may be dealing with diminished strength, balance issues, or other health related problems, not getting a good night’s sleep can lead to safety issues at home. Below are five tips that can help some seniors improve their sleep habits and, ultimately, their safety at home.
Tip #1: Avoid caffeine.
Even decaffeinated coffee contains some level of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can take up to eight hours to completely leave the body. The senior should be encouraged to avoid caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening hours.
Tip #2: Develop a routine.
Doing the same thing over and over every night can help the brain and body begin getting ready for sleep. When you have a young child and you begin reading with her, having story time, rocking with her, and getting her used to that routine, it becomes much more likely that she’ll fall asleep quickly when she is put down for bed.
The same holds true for adults, no matter what their age. That routine can bring comfort and help the brain adjust to what is to come, which is going to sleep.
Tip #3: Avoid doing too many things in the evening.
Waiting until evening to take a shower, clean the dishes, take out the garbage, do laundry, and much more is going to overwhelm the brain and body. Spread some of these tasks out throughout the day and only have one or two simple things to do for the one or two hours before bedtime.
Tip #4: Don’t leave things on the floor.
When the senior is getting dressed or undressed, they should be sure not to leave anything on the floor. If they’re lying in bed and remember they left something on the bathroom floor, they might worry about it because what if they have to get up in the middle night to use the bathroom?
They should be sure to make the walking areas clear and safe.
Tip #5: Stay away from electronic devices.
Electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and TVs stimulate the brain. They do not help the brain get into the natural circadian rhythm necessary for a good night sleep. They can read, speak to somebody on the phone, or do other similar activities, but everyone should be avoiding these devices if they want a good, healthy night’s sleep that improves safety the next day.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Fox Chapel, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551