Interrupted sleep is not uncommon for anyone, but if your loved one finds that she's waking up more often than not, she may need some techniques to help her get back to sleep. It's especially important to find a solution that works if your loved one's interrupted sleep is becoming your interrupted sleep, too.
Avoid Stressing about Not Sleeping
One of the worst things that your elderly loved one can do when she wakes in the middle of the night is to stress and worry about the fact that she's not asleep. Encourage your loved one to remind herself that it's okay that she's woken up. Sometimes even that small reminder can be enough to help your loved one to avoid tensing up.
Focus on Relaxation
Instead of focusing on getting back to sleep, your loved one can focus on simply relaxing. Even if she doesn't get back to sleep quickly, lying there feeling relaxed can do a lot more for her than lying there worrying. Different relaxation techniques can be effective, so you and your loved one can work on activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even progressive muscle relaxation.
Get out of Bed
If your loved one has been tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes or so, it's probably a good idea by then to get out of bed. The trick is, when she gets out of bed, she should do something calming and relaxing. Reading can be helpful, as can getting a drink of water or sitting in a chair and meditating. The key is to avoid activities that might be too active. Definitely encourage your loved one to avoid the television and other screens.
Journal about Anxiety or Worry, then Let it Go
Sometimes your loved one might find herself unable to let go of a particular worry or concern and that's why she keeps waking up. In that case, journaling about whatever is bothering her can help her to put that worry aside and clear her mind for sleep. If journaling is too likely to keep her awake, she might want to try simply making a list of her worries quickly in a small notebook.
If your loved one's sleeplessness is causing sleeping issues for you as well, consider engaging elder care providers to help both of you get some peace of mind.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in DeWitt, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.