Encouraging Good Sleep Habits in the Elderly

Encouraging Good Sleep Habits in the Elderly

It is said that we sleep for a third of our lives. That alone shows how necessary sleep is for our body. But, as time goes by and our bodies age, our sleep patterns change. Older adults may find that they fall sleep and wake up earlier than they used to. Other adults have difficulty going to sleep or wake up often throughout the night. Elderly individuals wake up roughly 3 or 4 times each night and are more aware of being awake. They may wake more frequently because they spend less time deep sleep, need to get up to urinate, have anxiety, or have pain from chronic illnesses. Medications can also affect sleep patterns as well as new routines.

As a provider of in-home nursing care services, we have noticed sleep changes in our elderly patients. These changes can seem daunting to some families, particularly if the elderly individual requires help with mobility. We have compiled some tips to encourage good sleep habits in your elderly loved ones.

  • Establish a sleeping schedule. Just as children benefit from a regular sleep schedule, so do older adults. Having a schedule including a “bedtime” and a “wake-up time” allows your body to get accustomed to sleeping and waking at roughly the same time each day.
  • Try some bedtime rituals. Doing some activities like reading a book, listening to calming or soothing music, meditating, or soaking in a warm bath can help.
  • Eat 4 – 5 hours before bedtime. A professional in-home caregiver can help prepare meals based on a schedule.
  • Limit evening fluids. Drinking right before bed will increase the likelihood of having to get up to urinate.
  • Discourage screens in the bedroom. Try to avoid having the television, computer, phone, or tablet in use while in bed.
  • Avoid napping during the day.
  • Avoid stimulants, like caffeine (coffee/tea/soda/chocolate), after 2pm.

As a leading provider of home care services in Pingree Grove, Illinois, our duty is to help our patients and their loved ones maximize quality of life. This includes achieving restful sleep.

To learn more about Passionate Private Duty and our home care services including companion care, skilled nursing care, dementia care, senior care, wound care, and infusion therapy, give us a call. You can also email us at

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