Senior Insomnia

senior insomniaDid you know that seniors suffer from insomnia more than any other age group? Insomnia, simply put, is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, and if it continues long term can lead to many other health issues due to fatigue. Many adults are wary of sleeping pills and dependency on medication – especially as many seniors are already taking medication, and don’t want to add more unnecessarily – so we’ve put together a list of the best natural treatments for insomnia. If, after trying these, your senior loved one is still having trouble sleeping, speak to your family doctor.

  • Decrease caffeine consumption, avoiding all caffeine (coffee, tea, and pop) after lunch time.
  • Exercise daily. It can feel like the last thing you want to do when you’re already fatigued, but exercise is proven to be one of the most important factors in a good night’s sleep.
  • At least an hour before bedtime, dim the lights in the house and turn off distractions such as a loud TV. A warm bath will help the body relax.
  • Increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and avoid unhealthy food, such as fast food and sugar-dense, processed foods.
  • Bright lights from a TV or computer screen are too harsh and have been proven to keep us awake. Limit computer or tablet time in the evening, or use a screen dimmer (many new models do this automatically).
  • Before bed, try a warm glass of milk, which contains L-Trytophan, that helps the brain relax. Alternatively, drink herbal tea in the evening such as chamomile or peppermint.
  • Is there a cause for recent insomnia? If something is causing your senior loved one stress or worry, that may be the cause of their difficulty sleeping, and the remedy will come from confronting these issues.

The body requires a full night’s rest to heal and strengthen itself, so if your senior loved one is having trouble sleeping, please speak to a doctor.