A good night’s sleep is essential to anyone’s health, regardless of age. However, as individuals grow older, sleeping patterns can change. It is important for you to understand how certain sleep habits can indicate health problems and ensure that your senior loved one is getting enough rest. If you find yourself asking questions about whether or not your loved one’s has healthy sleeping habits, there are many factors to consider.
Why does my loved one sleep too much?
- Medication Side Effects
- Vitamin deficiencies
Should I be concerned if my senior loved one sleeps more than normal?
Studies have shown that increased slumber could be a sign of depression or dementia. If you observe that your loved one sleeps more than their normal schedule, you may consider speaking with their doctor. The causes listed above could be signs of a larger problem that needs to be addressed. Normal sleep schedules for individuals over the age of 65 should include a restorative daytime nap. However, if you notice your loved one spending more time sleeping than awake during the day, it may be time to find a source for their exhaustion.
On the opposite end of getting too much sleep, you have concerns that your loved one is not getting enough sleep. If your loved one has trouble sleeping, it can lead to long term problems. A study on sleep by researchers at New York Medical College found that lack of sleep led to a decrease in pain tolerance in the study participants. It can also contribute to heart problems, diabetes and stroke.
According to experts in sleep studies at the Northshore Sleep Medicine clinic in Chicago, Il., sleeping is the period of time when the body heals and builds a stronger immune system. Without proper sleep, a weak immune system can lead to chronic illness and individuals will be more prone to infection. If your loved one is already at a heightened risk for illness, a lack of sleep is even more dangerous.
Thankfully, all of these causes can be helped and even eliminated. As a caregiver, you can ensure your loved one has a healthy sleep schedule by evaluating their medications, ensuring they have enough physical activity during the day and talk with their doctor if you feel there are more serious health problems that can be causing the sleep disruption.
Sleep, among many other health issues that your loved one faces, is an essential aspect of their health. It not only contributes to a positive physical outcome, it also affects the mental health of your loved one. To assist you in providing them with the care they need, the professionals at Freudenthal Home Health have many ways to help. Contact us today to learn more.