Insomnia is a common condition for older adults. This can be a draining disorder, often affecting your day to day life. It can be challenging to handle, especially if you’re waking up tired and feeling unrefreshed.
Luckily, we’ve compiled helpful information as well as a few tips for better sleep. So, keep on reading to find out more about the best treatment for insomnia in older adults.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder that causes the inability to fall or stay asleep. This is not an uncommon problem, often resulting in a lack of energy and a bad mood throughout the day. It also leads to fatigue and similar symptoms.
A lot of people can have trouble when trying to get a good night’s rest, but insomnia gets determined by the quality of sleep that you get over a long period. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) states that between 6-10% of adults have symptoms.
Doctors will make a diagnosis when sleeping difficulties occur three nights a week for three months. Also, if those sleeping difficulties disrupt and cause distress to your day to day life.
Treating insomnia isn’t always easy, but taking a look into your everyday habits and changing them is always a great place to start. It can be that you’re taking too much caffeine or not following the right sleeping schedule. You can address the underlying causes and avoid having to take pills or see specialists.
Common Causes of Insomnia
The kind of insomnia you experience will depend on the causes and type of sleeplessness. Short-term or acute insomnia will get caused by smaller changes in your life. Here a couple of examples:
- An overload of stress
- Jet lag
- Sleeping in a different place like a new home or a hotel
- A traumatic event you’ve recently experienced
- Physical pain
- Certain over-the-counter or prescription medication
- Your sleep environment and habits
Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, lasts at least three months. It can either be primary, which is idiopathic, and secondary. Secondary chronic insomnia causes include the following:
- A medical condition that prevents good sleep like muscle pain or arthritis
- Diagnosed depression or anxiety
- Alcohol or similar substance use
- Breathing problems like sleep apnea
Treatments for Insomnia
As stated above, the changes you make in your habits can help treat insomnia. The best treatment for insomnia will depend on identifying the proper causes. Once you’ve figured out the causes for it, it’s easier to pinpoint what adjustments you’ll need to make.
Improve Sleeping Habits
In most cases, insomnia gets caused by your bad sleeping habits. To improve this, the first thing you’ll need to do is reflect on your routine before you go to bed. It’s best that you avoid stimulating activities before you go to sleep.
This can include things like reading from a backlit device at night, like your phone or tablet. If you do want to read from your electronic device, try using an eReader to avoid straining your eyes. Electronic devices emit a blue light, which can disrupt the production of melatonin.
The second thing you’ll need to focus on is a proper sleeping schedule. As much as possible, you’ll need to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. It’s preferable that you go to bed at earlier times to support your biological body clock.
You’ll also want to avoid taking naps during the day as it will become harder to fall asleep at night. If you need to take a nap, try and limit it to 30 minutes at most.
Create a Good Sleep Environment
To naturally boost your melatonin level, you’ll need a good sleeping environment. This means making sure that your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark.
As we age, we become more sensitive to outside disruptions like noise, light, and heat. So, before you go to bed, turn out any bright lights, and keep your room at a comfortable temperature. You could also wear earplugs to block out any noise from outside your home if you need to.
It’s also important that what you’re sleeping on is comfortable. Try out different mattresses and pillows. Experiment to find the perfect firmness to keep yourself comfortably supported.
Use Diet and Exercise
What you put into your body can have a significant impact on your quality of sleep. For starters, you’ll want to limit the amount of caffeine you take, especially in the afternoon. This extends to alcohol and sugary or spicy foods before bed.
Make sure that you satisfy your hunger, but not eat meals that are too big as it could lead to indigestion and discomfort. You should also minimize the amount of liquid that you drink. It’s best that you avoid getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom because you might not go back to sleep.
As for exercise, aerobic type exercises help improve your overall quality of sleep. Participating in 30-40 minute exercises can enhance how well and long you sleep. Try activities like running, swimming, bowling, golfing, etc.
Built-up anxiety and stress from your day can interfere with your sleep. To help combat this, it’s a good idea to come up with a relaxing bedtime routine.
Whether it’s listening to calming music or reading a book, find something that can help ease your mind. You could also get something to help you sleep like Supplementor.
The Best Treatment for Insomnia in Older Adults
Insomnia can be difficult to deal with, especially if it’s interfering with your everyday life. Luckily, you can determine specific causes and try to change your routines for the better. There is no exact insomnia treatment that you can take; it’s all about improving your habits.
We hope that you were able to get a better idea of the best treatment for insomnia in older adults from this article. If you enjoyed this article and want to read more like it, don’t hesitate to visit more of our guides and posts today!