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  • Are You Getting a Healthy Sleep?

    What is a healthy sleep? Are you sleeping more or getting less sleep?

    Sleep is fundamental in the regulation of physiological, mental and intrinsic chemical elements affecting performance, behavior, moods and emotions. During sleep, the body is conserving energy, relieving fatigue, providing respite for the body and recuperating tension of the body.

    Sleep has stages, where the deep sleep occurs during stage 3 and 4. Depending on the amount of time your sleep be on the both stage 3 and 4, this contributes on how you feel rested, refreshed and full of energy the next day. This is a quality sleep and called a healthy sleep.
    Common sleep changes in seniors includes deep sleep is decreased, having a lighter sleep and frequent awakening. As a result, sleep time is reduced and feeling tired during the day and tend to take more frequent daytime naps.

    Sleep Assessment

    Thorough assessment of sleep is important to be able to develop a care plan. This will help to enhance sleep, prevent chronic illness and manage health problems.
    Assessing sleep patterns is important to identify trends. Have a sleep diary to record the times the person wakes up at night, the time of bedtime, any medication taken prior sleeping and if you are using breathing aid such CPAP machine. Document if any naps during the day, duration of naps and what are the time of naps.
    Assess environmental factors such as bedroom, ventilation, temperature and noise. Assess bedtime routines such as caffeine intake in the afternoon, eating, reading, listening to music, watching TV or shower before bedtime.

    Recommendations to Enhance Sleep

    Have a routine of daily exercise. Do other activities of interest to preoccupy attention during the day. This can limit daytime naps to 30 minutes. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, smoking and spicy foods. Also avoid eating heavy meals and fatty foods before bedtime. Ensure adequate sunlight exposure to maintain sleep-wake cycle. Bedtime routines such as having a warm bath, reading a book etc. Ensure bedroom is conductive for sleep such as right temperature, clean linens and lights. Turn off all electronic appliances or gadgets. Also avoid socializing on phone, chat rooms or social media right before bedtime.
    Having a healthy sleep maintains health and wellness in terms of physical, emotional and overall well-being. Prolonged sleeping problems may either be sleep interruptions at night or too much sleeping require medical attention to get the right assessment, diagnosis, interventions and treatment.
    Geri Health Home Care promotes health and wellness for all and support seniors to age at home. For any assistance in personal care, home care, dementia care, complex care and nursing services, call Geri Health at 416-431-6266.