The senior years often bring changes in sleep patterns and overall health that may alter the ability to feel rested. For many seniors, a nap is the perfect solution for ending daytime fatigue. However, napping can also ruin the ability to sleep at night if it is done incorrectly. The following napping do’s and don’ts can help your senior loved one get some sleep without interfering with his or her bedtime.
Do: Watch for Serious Sleep Disorders
Several health conditions generate symptoms that affect sleep. For example, daytime drowsiness could be a side effect of medication. Depression can also cause seniors to feel tired during the day or face difficulty sleeping at night. Insomnia may also be related to hormonal changes that occur with age, and waking up several times during the night to use the restroom could be caused by an underlying health condition. If your loved one suddenly starts napping during the day, talk to his or her physician to identify any underlying physical or emotional causes that should be addressed.
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Don’t: Nap Too Late in the Day
Many older adults sense a drop in their energy levels as the day goes on. While it may seem like a good idea to take a nap after dinner, it could adversely impact the ability to sleep later that night. Your loved one should try to take naps in the early afternoon. Typically, it is easier to fall asleep after lunch, and taking a nap before the late afternoon provides enough time to get sleepy again before bedtime.
Do: Set an Alarm
Power naps are important when seniors want to get some rest during the day. The average adult only needs about 10 to 30 minutes of napping time to feel well rested. To avoid oversleeping, your loved one should set an alarm. When the alarm goes off, your loved one should get up even if he or she didn’t fully fall asleep. Over time, your loved one’s body will begin to recognize this cue as time to fall asleep, and it will be easier to get a full nap in the future.
Don’t: Sleep with the TV On
Your loved one should try to avoid dozing off in front of the television or while listening to the radio. Instead, he or she should treat naptime similar to normal bedtime by creating a peaceful environment that promotes better rest. Creating a calm environment prevents noise from waking your loved one up too early, and he or she will wake up feeling more rested.
Some seniors need help making healthy lifestyle choices that promote better sleep. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits and accomplishing daily tasks, an Oakville caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and much more.
Do: Allow Plenty of Time to Wake Up
After a nap, your loved one should never try to get up and rush to an appointment since he or she may not be fully alert to drive. Plan your loved one’s naps so he or she has at least 15 to 20 minutes to wake up completely. Allowing plenty of time to wake up prevents accidents that could occur if your loved one attempts to rush daily routines while still half asleep.
Older adults are susceptible to an array of health issues that can impact their sleep quality and bedtime routine. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Oakville home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (905) 592-0085 today.