Insomnia and sleeplessness are forms of sleep disorder very widespread in older people, affecting health and the quality of life negatively. There are two common reasons causing insomnia in the elderly. The reason due to the impact of other diseases may be dementia, cardiovascular disease, depression, arthritis… or subjective factors such as less physical activity, changes in circadian rhythms, aging, negative thoughts…
So, what should we do to reduce insomnia in the elderly?
Despite any cause, using drugs to inhibit insomnia and create sleepy is a measure we should not apply, especially for the elderly because the possibility of brain activity at this age has worsened very much, on the other hand it may lead to drug dependence or become addicted to drugs. In the absence of drug, the insomnia condition will be worse. Therefore, taking these following natural remedies will be effective without causing harm.
Avoid stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, especially during the period of the evening. Do not smoke. Stay away from cigarette smoke. Do not eat a lot of food with high fat oil or indigestible food.
Ensure daily meals are sufficient three types of nutrients as follows: protein (meat, eggs, fish…), starch (rice, wheat, potatoes ….), fat (reduce tallow and replace with vegetable oil). Use the foods easy to digest and rich in vitamins B1, minerals such as water spinach, Malabar spinach; oranges, tangerines, ripe papaya; soya curd, soy milk. Enhance vitamins, minerals and fibrous matter to improve resistance and the immune system for the body. A good health will be important condition to have a good sleep and eliminate insomnia in the elderly. For dinner only have a light meal. Before bedtime, drink a glass of warm milk to provide carbohydrate to prevent hypoglycemia at midnight.
Take exercise at reasonable time
This activity is very necessary. It helps improve health, relax and increase blood circulation in the brain. The elderly should take light, suitable exercises as walking 25-40 minute in the evening and before going to sleep about 3-4 hours to give the body time to rest. The place to practice needs to be hygienic, fresh and has means to avoid sudden wind, rain.
Relax before bedtime
Bedroom space should be quiet, airy, soft lighting, ensure cool in summer and warm in winter. Do not put too many electronic items (television, cassette …) because the magnetic field emanating from the above-mentioned items may affect sleep. Before going to sleep, the elderly can take a bath with warm water to relax the body.
In addition, to avoid the elderly having improperly worries about sleep, we should explain to them that insomnia in the elderly is very common and unavoidable, the ability to get enough sleep 1 day 8 hours only happens with the young and middle-aged, the higher the age the less sleep time. At night, the elderly may sleep less, but if they sleep about 20-30 minutes in the afternoon, it will very good.