Seniors adjusting to a nursing home may find their usual sleep habits disrupted. But what seems like a minor inconvenience, can actually lead to bigger health issues. Especially if left unchecked.
The NIH describes, “Some of the consequences of poor sleep, such as irritability, poor concentration and memory, slower reaction time, decreased performance may all be assumed to be part of dementia. These symptoms, however, may also be a result of poor nighttime sleep and high levels of daytime sleepiness.” It’s important to keep track of all the symptoms a senior may be experiencing. You may find that poor sleep is a common factor in them.
Many people find it difficult to sleep in a new environment. There may be noise, light, or a daily routine that they aren’t used to. But there are several ways to make a new living situation a more comfortable one.
The NIH cites several common causes of sleep difficulties in a long-term care setting:
- Primary sleep disorders
- Medical conditions
- Psychiatric disorders
- Circadian Rhythm disruption
- Environmental factors (noise, light during the night, low daytime indoor illumination, little time spent outdoors)
- Behavioral factors (physical inactivity, extended time spent in bed)
Behavioral factors are more often within a senior’s control. More exercise during the day may help seniors feel more tired in the evenings when they are hoping to rest. For this to be a long-term solution, it’s important for a senior to choose an activity that they genuinely enjoy doing. Who wants to make something a habit when it’s uncomfortable or boring? Exercise should be a positive part of their regular routine rather than a chore.
It’s easy to adjust environmental factors as well. If there’s too much light coming into the bedroom, look into purchasing blackout curtains. A white noise machine can also help drown out background noise that is a nuisance.
After eliminating other possible causes of sleep disturbance, it might be time to look into sleep disorders. Some sleep disorders may increase in prevalence with advancing age. That’s why it’s important to test for sleep disorders regularly.
As a member of an “at-risk” group, seniors need to be able to make their health a priority without putting it in jeopardy. A physical trip to the doctor’s office is not always a necessity. And it’s not in their best interest when it may be risking exposure to a virus or flu. SleepMaster Solutions™ allows seniors to attend to this need from the comfort of home, by shipping a simple home sleep test straight to your door. SleepMaster Solutions™ can help seniors every step of the way, from testing to interpreting results to treatment.