Sleep-Promoting Exercises for Seniors

Easy Exercises That Promote Better Sleep

By Will Reid, 9:00 am on

The aging process contributes to some big changes in the sleep cycle, and many Cincinnati home care providers note that the elderly often have sleep cycles that create some level of insomnia. The culprit is a combination of decreased melatonin and a lack of exercise promoting daily routine habits in the elderly. Incorporating basic exercises on a regular basis can increase overall energy, lead to improved sleep hygiene, and promote better sleep.

Yoga Breathing Poses

Yoga is an excellent way for the elderly to start and end the day. It doesn’t require extensive cardio training and promotes proper breathing techniques. Poses that require standing and lifting, such as the prayer pose, increase blood flow and promote the creation of mental routine. Strong mental routine is a large part of what keeps the body’s circadian rhythm in check.

Chair Strength Training

Stretching and strength training using small weights is an excellent way to build bone density and keep blood sugar regulated. Seniors who have consistent blood sugar levels have an easier time falling asleep, and sleeping can also actually help improve blood sugar levels.

Power Walking

Aerobic exercise improves balance and increases the metabolic rate that promotes sleep. Walking briskly and evenly slowly raises the heart rate and is one of the best aerobic exercises for seniors. Walking helps release cortisol and promotes less fragmented sleep later, making it easier for seniors to maintain circadian cycles.

Modified 5 Minute Chair Aerobics

Short bursts of aerobic exercise are beneficial for keeping metabolism in check throughout the day. Burst exercises are done in 30-second intervals while sitting, promoting variety in muscle movement and routine–key ingredients to quality sleep.

Along with a lack of exercise, poor diet, medications, and even depression can lead to trouble sleeping. Contact your loved one’s physician to review medications, and consider hiring an in-home caregiver who can encourage a healthy, balanced lifestyle and provide emotional support and companionship. To learn more about care services in your area, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to hourly and live-in care, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Cincinnati. Call our office at 513.891.2273 to speak with a friendly Care Manager who can answer questions or schedule a free in-home consultation.