How to Manage Insomnia in Seniors

How to Treat Insomnia in Aging Adults

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Sleep disorders become more common as people age. It’s important that the cause of the insomnia be determined so an effective treatment plan can be implemented as soon as possible. Here are some things you can do to treat insomnia in your senior loved one. 


Encourage Exercise

Aging adults often lead sedentary lifestyles. When they don’t get enough exercise, they may be unable to sleep at night. Encourage your loved one to exercise daily, even if it means just taking a short leisurely stroll after dinner. Exercising promotes feelings of wellbeing and drowsiness so your loved one can fall asleep easily. 

It’s important that your loved one finish exercising at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime may cause overstimulation and insomnia. 

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elder care. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Draw a Warm Bath

A warm bath or shower can promote peaceful slumber. Bathing a few hours before bed lowers the core body temperature, which can help your loved one drift off to sleep and stay asleep. Like exercise, a warm bath or shower should be taken a few hours before going to bed because if the water is too hot, the body temperature will rise, preventing a restful sleep pattern. 


Serve Magnesium-Rich Foods

Foods rich in magnesium, such as bananas and walnuts, can treat insomnia in aging adults. Magnesium is sometimes referred to as “nature’s beta blocker” because it regulates and slows a fast heart rate. Drinking a banana smoothie or eating a peanut butter sandwich early in the evening can help your loved one relax and get drowsy so when bedtime arrives, he or she enjoys a deep sleep. 

Magnesium-rich foods can also prevent waking up frequently during the night. Make sure your loved one doesn’t eat too close to bedtime because the digestion process may prevent drowsiness. 

For seniors with health conditions that make it difficult to plan and prepare nutritious meals, professional caregivers can be a tremendous asset. For many seniors in Columbia, MD, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we extensively screen all of our caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.


Try Talk Therapy

Insomnia may be caused by depression, anxiety, or stress stemming from loneliness, illness, financial burdens, decreased mobility, or loss of independence. If you notice a change in your loved one’s sleep patterns or behavior, ask if he or she wants to talk about it. If your loved one is worried about any of the aforementioned problems, assure him or her that you’ll do your best to find a solution. 

Once your loved one knows you care and are willing to help, he or she may feel secure enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep. If your loved one is worried about health issues, make an appointment with his or her physician as soon as possible so an effective plan of care can be implemented. The doctor’s treatment plan may include an evaluation by a mental health professional. 


When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep difficulties and use the strategies outlined above, you can help him or her sleep better and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Columbia families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today to learn more about our customized care plans.