Does your aging relative often seem tired during the day? Do they complain of not sleeping well at night? If so, they’re not alone. Researchers recently published a report indicating that more Americans than ever are having difficulty sleeping at night.
Smartphones May Be a Factor in Poor Sleep
According to a study published in the journal Sleep Health, the number of people who have difficulty falling asleep and of those who cannot stay asleep is rising. The study used data from around 165,000 adult people in the United States that was collected between 2013 and 2017. According to the data:
- The number of people having trouble getting to sleep is up 1.4 percent.
- The number of people who have trouble staying asleep is up 2.7 percent.
Those numbers might seem small. However, they equate to around 5 million more people are having trouble sleeping. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to some serious health problems, including heart disease.
The researchers don’t know exactly what is responsible for the rise in poor sleep. One possible culprit is smartphones and other devices. The blue light emitted from their screens affects melatonin levels. Usually, melatonin is released starting a few hours before bed. Melatonin levels are highest in the middle of the night, which should keep your aging relative asleep. However, if your aging relative is using their smartphone or tablet close to bedtime to read, use social media, or play games, the brain may not release as much melatonin, which could account for their sleep problems.
Evening Activities Senior Care Can Do with Older Adults
The National Sleep Foundation recommends shutting off devices in the hours before bedtime to improve sleep. So, what activities should older adults do before bedtime to keep them from getting bored and also improve sleep? There are plenty of things a senior care provider can do with your older family member near bedtime, like these activities:
- A senior care provider and older adult can work on a jigsaw puzzle together.
- Your aging relative’s senior care provider can read to them from a book, newspaper, or magazine.
- Senior care providers can turn on soothing music and listen with the older adult.
- Your aging relative and a senior care provider can look through photo albums together and reminisce about the past.
These are just a couple of activities that a senior care provider can do with your loved one. There are many other activities they can do together. If there’s a quiet activity your older family member likes to do, a senior care provider can assist them to engage in the activity during the evening hours.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Hartford, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.