While each of us have experienced sleepless nights, we have the capabilities to overcome these struggles. Loved ones living with a memory disorder often have anxiety around this subject as they often forget what makes them comfortable.Here are a few tips to create a peaceful environment for your loved one and how you can help them overcome that anxious feeling.
Look at the lighting in the room
Are the lights too bright? Is there too little lighting? There should be a balance of light so that your loved one can safely get up in the night as needed, without making it so bright that sleep is hard to come by. If your loved one often wakes in the middle of the night, have a small dresser lamp available. By keeping the rest of the room dark, the brain understands that it is still nighttime and programs the body for sleeping. If the room has windows, try using blackout curtains, which are made to keep the light out and allow for privacy.
Give them a “hug”
Naturally, as humans, we respond to touch, especially when we feel nervous or anxious. Loved ones living with a memory disorder have this feeling almost nightly. Try using a weighted blanket. These blankets use pressure therapy to induce a calming effect. By having the same amount of weighted pressure placed on each part of the body, the brain can calm down and prepare for sleep. Also, make sure your loved one’s pillows are comfortable and not causing soreness, which may keep them up at night.
Encourage a snack or warm drink
Family members who are living with a memory disorder often cannot remember when they last ate. Though they may have had dinner, encourage your loved one to have a light snack before bed. Toast, bananas or even a few slices of cheese have been shown to promote sleep. Use calming teas with no caffeine at night. This simple step ensures your loved one is full and can sleep more soundly.