Home Care in Rochester, NY: Insomnia in Seniors

You are lying awake at night yet again. You can hear the water drip, the clock tick, the house settles and the trees scratch the outside of the house. You can’t sleep as the list of things you need to do keep on rolling through your head. You are so tired, and yet your eyes won’t stay shut. What can be done?

You may have insomnia and not even realize it. Insomnia is common among older people; and it may be chronic, lasting more than one month; or acute, only lasting only a few days. However long it lasts, it makes the sufferer miserable. That isn’t even the worse part. In elderly people their lifestyles are affected severely and disastrous results can happen such as:

  • Because of lack of sleep, concentration is affected which can lead to accidents in the home or leaving doors unlocked and stoves left on
  • Senior sufferers can become clumsier and thus run the risk of increased falls because they are so tired. It can lead to not being alert when driving and automobile accidents
  • Lack of sleep can lead to clinical depression which in turn causes even a greater lack of sleep.

Recognizing you have insomnia may be difficult once acclimated to it but there are symptoms, such as taking more than 30-45 minutes to fall asleep and then having restless sleep once you do fall asleep. Or waking up early and then not falling back to sleep. And even when you think you’ve slept, you feel drowsy, tired or exhausted. You realize you have been up all night even though you’ve tried to sleep. You are irritable, you’re having trouble remembering things and you can’t concentrate.

The thing about insomnia is that it may be a primary disorder but most of the time it is a secondary disorder caused by something else going on. It can be from medications you are taking, stress or anxiety, or even an irregular sleep schedule. You also could be drinking too much coffee before going to bed. Sometimes if you are in pain from arthritis or other conditions which cause pain, it will not let you sleep. Or having to urinate frequently, having restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea can all be reasons for not being able to sleep. If you have a home care companion, he or she can help you keep track of your concerns for a doctor visit to discuss the problem.

If other conditions aren’t causing insomnia then some preventive measures may help such as exercising early in the day. If you have a home care companion coming in the day, you could thus explain your sleep problems if he or she is helping you exercise. Then you should move your exercise program to earlier in the day because exercise acts as a stimulant if done too late. Also make sure your sleep environment is dark and quiet. Take a warm bath before bed and listen to calming music or a nature CD. Don’t drink any stimulants with caffeine 3 hours before bed. No heavy meals or spicy food before bed either.

If you try these methods and they don’t work, then a visit to a specialist may be in order.

If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of home care in Rochester, NY contact the caregivers at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (585) 245-0134 for more information.