4 Natural Sleep Aids Safe for Seniors

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Senior adults frequently suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders. However, it is not always safe for seniors to take commonly used, over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription sleep aids. Fortunately, there are some herbal sleep aids that may benefit seniors when taken correctly with physician or pharmacist approval. The senior care experts at Home Care Assistance of Mesa have had success with the following all-natural sleep aids.

1. Melatonin
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that regulates the body’s natural sleep/wake cycles. Melatonin supplements are synthetic versions of the hormone, created in pill form, and used to aid the body’s natural responses. Melatonin is also used as a treatment aid in seniors with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and migraines.

2. Valerian
Valerian is commonly used in the treatment and management of insomnia and anxiety. The herb is considered safe and effective for extended use, up to 4-6 weeks, as an herbal sleep aid. Research indicates valerian reduces anxiety and may reduce the time required for valerian users to fall asleep. Have your senior loved one’s Mesa, AZ caregiver prepare a cup of valerian tea after dinner to help him or her wind down and get ready for bed.

3. Chamomile
Chamomile is a centuries-old herbal remedy for a variety of ailments. The herb, commonly prepared in tea, produces a calming, mildly sedative effect in users. The calming effect of the herb reduces anxiety, aids in sleep, and even offers some relief from depression symptoms. Chamomile has also proven valuable for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for digestion and joint support as well.

4. Lavender
The scent of lavender has been shown to promote relaxation and cause drowsiness in case studies. Available as an essential oil or dried herb, lavender may be made into sachets and placed beneath the pillow or sprayed near the pillow or bedding to encourage sleep. Additionally, the essential oil may be used as an insect repellent and has been shown to reduce anxiety and boost brain functioning.

Following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and engaging socially and mentally will also contribute to your senior loved one sleeping well. Caregivers at Home Care Assistance Mesa are trained in the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on nutrition, physical activity, socialization, and maintaining purpose, and can provide your senior loved one with companionship while promoting health, wellness, and safety. If you have questions, want to learn more, or would like to discuss possible concerns, call (480) 699-4899 to speak with a friendly Care Manager today.


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