It's estimated that about half of the adults 65 or older have insomnia. It's proven that a lack of sleep can impact cognitive, mental, and physical health. If your dad isn't getting the recommended seven or eight hours, it's time to address the bad habits that can limit the amount of sleep he gets.
Drinking Too Much Liquid After Dinner
Once dinner is over, your dad needs to limit how much he drinks. If he drinks a full glass of water before bed, he'll wake in the middle of the night with a full bladder.
He should focus his water intake during the morning and afternoon. After dinner, he wants to sip drinks to keep hydrated without being excessive.
Staying in Bed When He's Awake
Your dad wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. Instead of forcing it, he could get up and read until he feels tired again. He doesn't need to turn on all of the lights; a reading light or backlit e-reader keeps lights to a minimum.
Not Getting Enough Exercise
If your dad doesn't burn off energy during the day, it may make it harder for him to sleep. He needs to tire his body out. A daily walk at a brisk pace or a favorite activity each day is important.
Exercise also helps ease stress. If your dad often wakes up and is unable to get back to sleep because his thoughts start taking over, exercise can help.
Long Naps During the Day
If your dad is taking long naps each afternoon, it will impact his ability to sleep at night. He's already rested. Instead of napping for an hour or two, he should limit his naps to no more than half an hour. Have someone there to wake him up and make sure he gets up, is active, and doesn't just go back to sleep.
Not Understanding His Prescription Medication Side Effects
Go over the prescriptions your dad takes. They may trigger insomnia. If he is struggling to sleep at night and is on a medication that can cause sleep disturbances, it may help to see if there's another medication he can take.
Senior home care services are there to help with daily tasks and routines. If your dad is dealing with insomnia, his home care aides can ensure he stays awake and avoids naps that could be keeping him up.