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Creative Ways to Prevent Insomnia

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on January 12, 2016

Insomnia is a common problem for seniors, and can have many different causes. If your elderly loved one has been having trouble sleeping and nothing seems to be remedying the situation, these creative strategies, brought to you by the Roseville in-home care experts at Home Care Assistance, can help him or her get some sleep.

Maintain a Strict Bedtime Routine

During childhood, falling asleep may have been much easier for your loved one. Likely, this is because his or her parents maintained a strict bedtime routine. Help your loved one plan a bedtime ritual and encourage him or her to stick to it. By brushing teeth, bathing, and getting dressed for bed in the same order and at the same time each night, your loved one’s body will begin to recognize these as signals to prepare for sleep.

Sweeten a Nighttime Drink

Although sugar tends to be associated with energy, it can actually have a sedative effect when consumed in smaller quantities. Suggest adding a teaspoon of honey to a small glass of warm milk. The tryptophan in the milk will work with the natural sugar in the honey to help generate drowsiness within 30 minutes.

Curl the Toes

As your loved one tightens and releases the toes, his or her body will begin to relax. The repetitive movement can also free your loved one’s mind from thoughts that interfere with his or her sleep. For maximum benefits, your loved one should make this a routine he or she only does at bedtime.

Block Out Sound and Light

Before bright lights and noise invaded our bedrooms, sleep was a simple part of life. Turn your loved one’s bedroom into a space more conducive to sleep by using room-darkening curtains and lowering the temperature slightly. Ban all electronics from the room, and encourage your loved one to use earplugs if necessary. The idea is to eliminate as many stimulating distractions as possible.

Get More Sun

Your loved one’s daily routine can also influence his or her ability to fall asleep at night. The body requires sunlight to create melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle. Encourage your loved one to get outside for at least 15 minutes each day so his or her body can recognize the difference between night and day.

In addition to trying some of the above methods, seniors who have conditions that make sleep more difficult may also benefit from specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care in Roseville. For more information on how a part-time or live-in caregiver can help your loved one maintain healthy daily routines, reach out to Home Care Assistance. To schedule a free consultation, call one of our Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.

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