Chapter 3: Symptoms and health concerns
Sleep disturbance – What may help
What a healthcare provider can do
Below are some of the things a healthcare provider may do. Click on each for more information.
They will likely do a complete physical examination and pay attention to pain or other symptoms that may be affecting sleep.
They may order a blood test to look at levels of things like iron, hormones, nutrition, oxygen, or medication levels in the blood. A sleep assessment test may be ordered depending on the person’s situation and availability of testing facilities.
The healthcare provider may prescribe medication based on the outcome of the assessments.
What families can do
The following may help improve sleep quality. Click on each suggestion below to read more.
Encourage some activity during the day such as visiting with others, listening to music, participating in a hobby, or doing some light exercise if possible.
Control the sleep environment as much as possible
Minimize nighttime interruptions caused by noise and light.
Remove distractions such as clocks, phones, or computers from the room.
Straighten bed linens to remove wrinkles, and place pillows to improve comfort.
Try washing face and hands, performing mouth care, changing into pajamas, and putting lotion on each night.
Consider reading a book, listening to a meditation, or having a quiet supportive conversation.
Encourage a warm drink before bed if that helps the person to relax.
Encourage them to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine before bed.
Suggest minimizing phone, computer, and social media use right before going to bed.
Encourage them to take prescribed medication on a regular schedule.
Feeling worried or anxious can contribute to sleep disturbance. These feelings are common and should be discussed with a healthcare provider or someone who can provide counselling support.