Sleep is an important part of recovering from an illness. But, when a person is being treated for cancer, they may have difficulty sleeping. The reason may be the physical discomfort that can be a part of having a serious illness. The inability to sleep well may also be related to emotions and stress. Whatever the cause of your aging relative’s sleeplessness, it’s important to find ways to manage cancer-related sleep problems.
About Sleep Problems
Sleep is important to good physical and mental health. Without enough sleep, the older adult may have trouble with their memory or not be able to think clearly. Lack of sleep can also affect their mood, making them irritable or moody. Some of the physical effects of not getting enough sleep include:
- High blood pressure.
- Suppressed immune system.
- Poor balance.
- Increased risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
If the sleep problems occur over a long period of time, your family member will be at higher risk for developing depression or anxiety.
Report sleep problems to the older adult’s medical team. The doctor may prescribe medications or suggest other treatments to remedy the problem.
Ways to Deal with Sleeplessness
In addition to following the doctor’s recommendations, there are many things that can be done at home to help seniors undergoing cancer treatment sleep better. Some ways to deal with sleeplessness are:
- Allow the older adult to sleep during the day, if needed. However, when they are awake, encourage them to get in some physical activity, which can help them to sleep better at night.
- Remind the older adult not to consume caffeine within six hours of bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep them awake.
- Make the bedroom a restful place. Keep the lights dim and the temperature cool, but not too cold. Also, remove clutter from the bedroom so there are no distractions.
- Offer the older adult a warm, soothing drink before bed, such as warm milk or caffeine-free tea.
- Provide a small bedtime snack to prevent the older adult from waking up due to hunger.
- Suggest a gentle back rub or foot massage before bedtime.
Elderly care providers can help seniors with cancer to sleep better. An elderly care provider can keep the bedroom clean and adjust the temperature to make your loved one more comfortable. Elderly care providers can also prepare warm drinks and snacks. And, during the day, an elderly care provider can assist the older adult to safely get in some physical activity.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elderly Care in Gulfport, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.