Older adults who suffer from arthritis may have difficulty sleeping at night. Their joints may feel stiff and painful, making it hard to get comfortable. However, a good night’s sleep is important for their health and well-being. Tiredness can make older adults irritable and affect their ability to concentrate. There are many ways seniors with arthritis can sleep better, though, including the suggestions below.
Report Sleep Problems to the Doctor
Many people neglect to talk to their doctor about having trouble sleeping. Be sure your aging relative reports sleep problems to their doctor. A doctor can help figure out what is causing the sleep disturbance and may be able to offer treatment.
Soothe Joints with Heat
Before going to bed, it may be helpful for the elder adult to use heat to soothe their aching joints. Try applying a heating pad to the affected joint for between 15 and 20 minutes before going to bed. If multiple joints are affected, a warm bath may be a better course of action. If the senior bathes before bed, they should allow for time to cool down a bit before trying to go to sleep since being overheated can also make it hard to sleep.
Keep the Spine Straight
If arthritis affects your older family member’s back and neck, keeping the spine in a straight line can ease the pain. They should sleep on their back or side, making sure the head isn’t too far back or too far to one side. A good pillow is an important part of keeping the spine aligned. The senior’s pillow should neither be too flat or overstuffed as either can put the neck out of position.
Practice Good Sleep Habits
Setting a routine for bedtime can help to signal the older adult’s body that it is time to go to sleep. They should go to bed at the same time each night. Other things that can promote better sleep are:
- Keeping the bedroom cool and dark.
- Avoiding eating a large meal too close to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants too close to bedtime.
- Don’t watch television or use a tablet or smartphone within an hour of bedtime.
Elderly care can help to implement some of the suggestions above. An elderly care provider can assist your older family member to apply a heating pad or safely bathe. Elderly care providers can also help them to get comfortable in bed, using pillows to keep joints aligned. Finally, an elderly care provider can encourage the senior to follow a bedtime routine by helping them to get ready for bed at night.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Marietta, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.
Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828