As people age, it’s normal for their sleep patterns to change. Older adults may have problems falling asleep or they may not be able to stay asleep. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they need less sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, many older adults say that they don’t feel rested even after sleeping through the night. Studies have also shown that seniors take longer to fall asleep and experience less REM sleep. They also show that seniors do, in fact, wake up more often during the night than younger people.
Caregiver Huntington Beach CA – Five Home Remedies to Help Seniors Sleep
So, what can a caregiver do to help seniors get to sleep faster and enjoy better sleep? Here are five home remedies that may help.
#1 Drink Warm Milk
No, warm milk helping people to go to sleep isn’t just an old wives’ tale. Milk has a substance called tryptophan in it, which is an amino acid that brings on sleep by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Adding a bit of honey to the milk can make it work even better because carbs help serotonin to reach the brain faster. WebMD also suggests that warm milk may trigger memories of a person’s mother helping them to sleep, which may make them sleepy.
#2 Eat the Right Snack
A light snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates can help a person to fall asleep. For example, half of a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter, or cheese with whole wheat crackers. The snack should be eaten about half an hour before bedtime.
#3 Drink Valerian Tea
Tea made with the herb valerian can help a person to fall asleep more quickly. It can also make older adults sleep more deeply so that sleep is more satisfying. Also, the warmth of the tea can be soothing.
#4 Try Melatonin
Melatonin helps control the sleep/wake cycle by inducing drowsiness and lowering body temperature, letting the body know it is time to go to sleep. Before seniors take a melatonin supplement, they should check with their doctor to make certain it will be safe for them to take.
#5 Take a Warm Bath
Studies have shown that people who take warm baths that last from 90 minutes to 120 minutes sleep better during the night. Adding some soothing lavender scented bubbles to the bath may bring on sleep, too.
Caregivers can help seniors to sleep better, too. They can assist seniors with preparing the right bedtime snack or a cup of warm milk. If the older adult wants to take a soothing bath, a caregiver can make certain they get safely in and out of the bathtub. Caregiver providers can also establish bedtime routines and soothing environments, which can serve as triggers to remind an older adult’s body and brain that it is time to sleep.