Sleepless Seniors: Six Ways to Help an Aging Loved One Get Enough Sleep

Let’s face it, we all could benefit from a good night’s sleep. A professional home health aide from Expicare Nursing will support the fact that rest helps promote bodily equilibrium, maintain brain function, and reduce the risk of diseases. 

For elderly individuals, sleep is paramount in aging well. Thus, if you or your loved one are trying to age in place, a good sleep regiment is imperative!


The following are six strategies for aging individuals to get enough sleep at night.

1. Set a senior sleep schedule

This may sound somewhat reductive, but one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to schedule it! This is especially true if your loved one is living with cognitive decline, and has little awareness of when their body is tired. Thus, a scheduled bedtime will provide the reminder to sleep when the senior is unaware.

2. Scale back on screen time

Although scrolling through a tablet before bedtime may seem harmless, it could be messing with your loved one’s circadian rhythm. This is because most screens shed blue light, a light that can reduce melatonin production. According to the Harvard Medical School, more than 6.5 hours spent in the presence of blue light can shift a circadian rhythm by three hours! 

3. Try home care assistance

If you are not there to get your loved one to bed on time, a home care assistant might be the best way to help. They can meet your loved ones needs, and craft a personalized strategy to get your loved one sleeping through the night.

4. Avoid late night caffeine 

If your goal is to get your loved one a good night’s sleep, then it’s best to avoid any substance that will stand in the way of your goal. This means avoiding caffeine a minimum of four to six hours before bedtime.

5. Also avoid late night alcohol.

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not help you sleep well. In fact, even the smallest amount of alcohol can decrease sleep quality by 9.3 percent. 

6. Embrace the bedtime routine

For seniors who have lost their ability to sleep, a bedtime routine may help. Try to create a series of enjoyable tasks that can help wind down the day. This includes bathing, time playing a puzzle, or a good book in a cozy corner. The goal is to create a pleasurable entry point into regular bedtime.