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What Causes Insomnia in Older Adults?

24-Hour Home Care in Citrus Heights
24-Hour Home Care in Citrus Heights

Your dad is experiencing insomnia. It’s been months since he slept through the night. What causes insomnia in the elderly, and how do you help your dad?


One of the symptoms of depression that you may not realize is common is insomnia. If your dad is dealing with insomnia, ensure he’s not depressed. If he is, therapies or medications can help.

Foods and Beverages

If your dad has a lot to drink before bedtime, he will wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the toilet. If he has to turn on the lights to get to the bathroom safely, he will wake up too much and find it hard to go back to sleep.

The same can be true of spicy or greasy foods. Your dad may wake up with heartburn and find it impossible to get back to sleep.

Medication Side Effects

Insomnia can be a side effect of medications, too. Read the side effects of the medicines your dad sees and see if his medications are to blame. If they are, talk to his doctor about switching medications.


Arthritis pain can make it hard to sleep. If your dad’s mattress isn’t supportive, a new mattress may help. If his mattress is new, keep muscle rubs and anti-inflammatory pain medications available to help ease his pain at night.


Is stress making it hard for your dad to sleep through the night? If he wakes up and can’t stop thinking about his problems, he will find it impossible to get back to sleep. Finding ways to reduce stress, such as Tai Chi, is helpful.

Too Little Exercise

Your dad needs to get enough exercise to ensure his body and mind are tired when he goes to bed. He should aim for 30 minutes a day. If possible, make sure he gets outside for fresh air. A brisk walk for a half-hour is excellent.

Uncomfortable Environment

Is your dad’s bedroom designed for quality sleep? If headlights and traffic noise filter into his room, it can wake him up. Animal sounds are another distraction from rest. To combat these things, use a  white noise machine and light-blocking blinds.

Before he goes to sleep, your dad should do something that quiets his mind. Watching TV isn’t ideal. Reading a book is better. He could read for an hour (or until he’s tired) and then turn on white noise and turn off the lights.

When you have a parent who won’t sleep through the night, it’s time to consider having 24-hour home care services available. Caregivers can be with your dad during the night. If he’s up for whatever reason, he’ll be able to talk to his 24-hour home care aide. His caregiver can make him a snack and keep him company.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring 24-Hour Home Care in Citrus Heights, CA, contact the friendly staff at Home Care Professionals today.
Call (866)-940-4855

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