Your dad is always out of energy. He starts strong in the morning, but after lunch, he just wants to sleep. What’s making your dad’s energy drain? He might be experiencing insomnia.
What Are the Signs of Insomnia?
It’s believed insomnia affects upwards of 70% of older adults. For about half of those adults, staying asleep or staying asleep is difficult. Upwards of 60% of those adults report difficulty falling asleep. As many as a quarter don’t feel the sleep they get each night is restorative.
If your dad is experiencing insomnia, it’s not surprising. It’s also not unusual. But, it is concerning, as sleep is essential to mental and physical health. How do you know if it’s insomnia affecting your dad? The key indicators are:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep despite having the right arrangements
- Resisting going to bed at a usual or proper time
- Repeatedly waking up earlier than is normal, such as always waking up at 3 a.m. even though you’ve gone to bed at 10 p.m.
- Excessive sleepiness during the day due to the shortened sleep pattern at night
- Moodiness, irritability
- Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
The problem with older adults and sleep patterns is that aging can mess with one’s circadian rhythm. Your dad may start to feel tired earlier in the night and wake well before the sun comes up. There are other reasons insomnia may appear.
How Can You Help Him Get Enough Sleep?
If your dad has been unable to sleep for days or weeks, start by looking at his prescription medications. Do any insomnia or sleep difficulties listed as side effects? If so, talk to his doctor to see if there are other options. He might switch to a different medication.
Look into your dad’s bedroom set-up. If he doesn’t have blinds that shut all the way, it could be moonlight that’s impacting his sleep. Adding light-blocking curtains or blinds could help him.
Does he have a neighbor who comes home at midnight and lets a dog out? The dog starts barking, and that wakes your dad up. White noise can help block out sounds that are waking him up.
Is He Sleeping Too Long in the Afternoon?
Is your dad a napper? If he naps after lunch, is he sleeping for too long? Ideally, an afternoon nap shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. If it’s longer, it can disrupt his nighttime sleeping patterns.
In-home care can help your dad stay up all afternoon and stop the long naps. They can keep him motivated to take a daily walk and eat the right foods. Talk to an advisor about in-home care pricing and services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Glenolden, PA, and the surrounding area, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. (484) 206-4544
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