Seniors have problems with sleep. When I look out the windows in the dark hours I see lights on in many of the apartments here in the retirement home. I also see the glimmering of TV sets as the golden agers surf the channels hoping to find a movie that will send them off, even if it’s on the couch. That’s not how the TV or the sleep systems work. Only afternoon or early evening movies send one to sleep. Late night movies keep you awake.
The subject of sleep and seniors is so popular that the AARP issued a short list of tips to help us on our way to dreamland:
Use a sound machine to mask outside noises. This may be especially helpful for those in assisted living or other senior care settings.
Get the TV out of the bedroom, or at least turn it off an hour before going to sleep. Experts say the bright lights, sounds and images flickering across the screen trick your brain into staying awake and the nightmare-inducing crime dramas and news reports that are on late at night aren’t much help for relaxing into peaceful sleep either.
Dedicate the bedroom for sleep. If it would help, get new sheets, pillows and comforters that are warm and cozy, that you look forward to snuggling under at night.
Use an eye mask to block light – and improve your focus on the task at hand.
None of the above work. Whisky and sleeping pills work much better, but not taken together.