Dementia is a complicated condition that is still being studied.
There are some factors that seem to be linked to developing dementia, even if those links aren’t completely clear just yet. Sleep seems to be one of those factors.
The Connection Between Sleep and Dementia
There may be more of a connection between sleep problems and cognitive diseases than doctors previously understood. The details still aren’t completely understood, but there does seem to be a correlation between people who have sleep problems and their risk later of developing dementia. Your senior’s brain does a lot during sleep, including “cleaning up” memories and transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Disruptions in sleep also disrupt those processes.
Make Sure the Environment Supports Sleep
Find out how well your senior’s bedroom supports her ability to get a great night’s sleep. If the room is too warm or the mattress isn’t comfortable, make changes that solve those issues. It’s also a good idea to use blackout shades to help the room to be as dark as possible. For safety, motion-sensing nightlights keep her from turning on bright lights but still allow her to see where she needs to go.
Look at Meals and Beverages Before Bed
Sometimes sleep issues are down to what your elderly family member is eating and drinking and when she’s doing so. If she’s waking up a lot to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, it might be a good idea to set a cutoff time for drinks, for instance. Avoiding heavy meals within a few hours of bedtime is also a great solution.
Dementia: Help Her to Find a Solid Sleep Routine
A regular routine can help your senior so much when she’s trying to improve her sleep. The basics of a solid sleep routine include choosing a bedtime and sticking with it as well as choosing a wakeup time and sticking with that. In between, your senior needs to be mindful of napping and other things that can keep her awake too late, like caffeine late in the day.
Another problem that can keep your senior from getting enough sleep is being overly tired. That can happen when she’s pushing herself to do things that are difficult for her to do on her own. Bringing in elderly care services to help her with those tasks can give her the breathing room she needs to get better sleep and ward off dementia.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Litchfield Park, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819
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