According to the Better Sleep Council, good sleep is essential to promoting good health and maintaining cognitive function. A good night’s sleep leads to a better day. Caregivers can help seniors get a good night’s sleep with the following tips:
- Avoid napping after 4 pm. Taking naps later in the day can make falling asleep difficult.
- Avoid drinking caffeine throughout the day. Stimulants like caffeine found in soda, coffee, tea and chocolate may interfere with the body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Keep sleeping areas cool and dark. Create a good sleep environment with a cool and dark bedroom. For seniors, ensure that that lighting is easily accessible for a well-lit pathway to the bathroom as needed.
- Exercise. Exercising during the day helps regulate the body and encourages a healthy sleep and waking pattern.
- Go to bed at the same time every day. A regular sleep schedule promotes good sleep patterns.
- Avoid use of electronic equipment in bed. Blue screens on electronic devices such as tablets and cell phones strain the eyes and interrupt the body’s natural ability to fall asleep.