Sleep and light are closely related, and not just because a lot of people have a tough time falling asleep in a bright room. Sunlight, the original light, plays a big part in your senior’s sleeping schedule.
Morning Light Helps Her Brain Wake Up
Lots of people find that they have a tough time sleeping as the sun is rising and gradually making the room brighter, even if they have dark shades on their windows. This happens because the brain sees that increase in light, gradual as it is, as a sign to release hormones and chemicals that tell your senior to wake up and to get going. Cortisol is at its highest in the morning because it’s the primary chemical that wakes your senior up.
Sunlight throughout the Day
Light all throughout the day does a lot for your senior. Just seeing the light is a signal to her brain that its daytime and time to be relatively active. Spending just a few minutes in direct sunlight is a great way for your senior to get a boost of vitamin D. Vitamin D actually functions as a hormone in the human body and it’s important for bone and nerve health.
Blue Lights at Night
As it gets darker and night starts rolling in, modern society developed an answer: Electric lighting. Unfortunately, as technology has advanced and electronics put out more light from the blue end of the spectrum, that sends some mixed-up signals to the brain. Blue light right before bed can keep your senior from being able to sleep well. One of the things that is supposed to happen as the sun goes down is that your senior’s body starts to naturally produce melatonin. That helps her to drift off to sleep. Too much blue light means not enough melatonin and possibly sleep issues.
What if Your Senior’s Circadian Rhythm Is Flipped?
All of this means that it can be really easy to accidentally flip your senior’s sleep schedule. This is often what happens if she’s staying up much later than usual and not sticking to any sort of regular wake-up time. It can be easy enough to fix if your elderly family member wants to do so. Getting back onto a regular sleep schedule can help her to get better sleep and therefore feel better overall.
If your elderly family member needs some extra motivation to get back to being awake during the day, bringing in a caregiver can be a real help.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care in Mountainside, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299.
Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside, and the surrounding areas.
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