Dos & Don’ts of Napping for Seniors

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There’s no denying the refreshing feeling that follows a daytime nap. However, seniors should be aware that napping can affect their quality of sleep at night. Your senior loved one can use the following tips to enjoy naps without disturbing his or her sleep cycle. 

Do: Discuss Sleep Changes with a Physician

Difficulty sleeping through the night and daytime fatigue are two issues that should be brought to a doctor’s attention. While these issues could be just a normal part of aging, they could also signify more serious issues, such as a reaction to a new medication or a mental health condition. Make sure to mention your loved one’s habit of taking naps to his or her physician to rule out other underlying conditions. 

Taking naps is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Don’t: Sleep Too Long

During the senior years, people often need less sleep, which means a two-hour nap could make it difficult to sleep later that night. The ideal length of a nap is between 10 and 30 minutes. Your loved one should consider sleeping for different amounts of time to find the right length that suits his or her needs without disrupting nighttime sleep. 

Do: Choose the Time Wisely

Your loved one should avoid taking a nap too late in the afternoon because he or she might not be tired enough when bedtime arrives. However, your loved one probably won’t be ready for a nap early in the morning. Consider planning your loved one’s naptime for just after lunch and before three o’clock in the afternoon so he or she has several hours to get tired before going to bed for the night. 

Don’t: Randomly Nap

Once your loved one finds the ideal amount of napping time, make sure to include it in his or her daily schedule. While occasional events may interfere, taking a nap regularly trains the body and mind to know when it’s time to rest. Over time, your loved one’s body will eventually expect to get a nap, which means he or she will fall asleep faster. 

Do: Create a Peaceful Environment

While it might be tempting to just fall asleep in a cozy chair, your loved one should keep the same sleep habits as he or she would for normal bedtime. Plan your loved one’s nap for a time during the day when he or she can sleep in bed. Darken the room, and discourage your loved one from using electronic devices just before sleeping, since they can disrupt sleep patterns. Taking these steps may make it easier to fall asleep faster so your loved one gets the most out of a nap. 

By making healthy lifestyle choices, seniors can enjoy naps without disrupting their sleep cycles. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Highland Park families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

Don’t: Nap if It Isn’t Necessary

Not all seniors need naps, especially those who already have difficulty sleeping at night. Your loved one may need to skip naps if the ideal window of opportunity falls during a time when he or she must take medications. Your loved one should listen to his or her body and respond to its reactions accordingly. 

Difficulty falling asleep is just one of the many issues seniors are prone to. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Highland Park, TX, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400.


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