When your senior’s sleep schedule is off, that creates havoc all around her. She might find that she’s unable to sleep during her “normal” sleeping hours or that she never feels rested at all, even if she’s supposedly asleep.
Here are some of the possible culprits.
She’s Physically Uncomfortable or in Pain
Being uncomfortable or worse, in pain, is definitely enough to keep your senior from sleeping well. You may find that she experiences more pain at certain times of the evening or night, which keeps her awake longer than she wants to be. Or you might find that she’s experiencing pain that’s so bad that it wakes her up. Even if she is getting to sleep, that sleep might be fitful, meaning she’s not actually getting much benefit from it.
Bathroom Visits Are Getting out of Hand
Between incontinence and other possible issues, like urinary tract infections, your senior might be visiting the bathroom overnight a lot more than she would like to be. One way your elderly family member might start to compensate is by limiting her fluids later in the day. But that can lead to dehydration and doesn’t necessarily solve incontinence issues. Your senior’s doctor may have some recommendations that can help.
Her Medications Are Giving Her Trouble
The medications that solve some problems for your elderly family member may bring other issues, especially at night. Some side effects are related to the dosage of the medication or even the timing when the medication is taken. It’s possible that some of these issues can be tweaked for your senior, but her doctor needs to know what’s going on first. There may also be different medications that will help your senior, but not interfere with her sleep.
Daytime Naps Are Keeping Her up at Night
The really big problem with sleep problems is that your senior might compensate for them in other ways, like with a nap during the day. This could help a little bit, but as the naps become habitual, the nighttime sleep disturbances may become a bigger issue. Then the daytime naps are even more essential and may get to the point where your senior’s sleep schedule has completely flip-flopped. That’s not so helpful anymore.
Sleep issues can take a little while to troubleshoot and then to correct. Your senior’s doctor can help quite a bit, but so can elderly care providers. When your own sleep is interrupted, you’re not able to be as helpful to your senior as you’d like. Relying on elderly care providers gives you a chance to get rest and to help your senior with her sleep issues.