Helping the Elderly (and us Caretakers) Sleep

Posted on Updated on

As our population lives longer than ever before, many of us are becoming caretakers for our elderly.

As the brain ages, sleep lightens. When enough sleep is missed, the brain can become over stimulated. Then it becomes even more difficult to get needed rest.

In desperation, most of us tend to reach for either pharmaceutical drugs or natural remedies to help us sleep.

Some elderly people get overstimulated by that which should calm them down. It can be the first dose or an over accumulation of medications or supplements that they haven’t completely metabolized.

That’s what I believe happened to my mother last week. She has advanced cancer and we’ve been treating the pain quite successfully with medical cannabis which also induced a deep restorative sleep and improved her waning appetite.

Last month when visiting my sisters, she got off her Genesis Gold® routine and her metabolism crashed without the extra nutritional and detox support. The cannabis along with her other medications could not be cleared by her aged and overtaxed system, built up to toxic levels, and induced a psychotic event.

She was up all night, incoherent, emotional, unable to eat or rest. The resultant mania was only calmed down by taking away all the meds that had accumulated in her system, keeping her up and active all day, and then promoting two nights where she slept twelve hours.

How did we do it? With proper nutrition and proper sleep hygiene.

Get Enough Electrolytes

The brain needs electrolytes for healthy neurotransmission. Coconut water is a great source. Make smoothies with tropical fruits for enzymes, veggies like carrots, beets, cucumbers, kale, and whey protein, using coconut water as the liquid. This provides easily digested nutrients and enough electrolytes to calm an overexcited nervous system. Plus it tastes great.

Avoid Neurotoxins

Avoid wheat products as most non-organic wheat crops are contaminated with herbicides which act as neurotoxins. Of course absolutely no artificial sweeteners.

Understand your Brain Chemistry

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that helps us learn and remember. Dopamine is produced by our hypothalamus in the morning and stays high until mid afternoon.

Protein helps us make dopamine. Adding Sacred Seven to Genesis Gold naturally increases healthy dopamine production.

Serotonin helps us stay calm and alert. Nighttime melatonin cascades into daytime serotonin.

Carbohydrates help us make serotonin. Whole grains like oatmeal are great serotonin boosters in the morning. Complex carbs like yams and winter squash are best. Dark chocolate works quickly which is why I developed this cocoa energy ball recipe to increase serotonin production. The more serotonin you make in the daytime, the more melatonin available at night.

Melatonin is the sleep hormone. Produced by the pineal gland after dark, naturally produced melatonin induces restorative sleep, resets healthy adrenal function, and supports optimal immune function.

Be sure to sleep in the dark to increase melatonin production naturally and allow for the surge of prolactin which is critical for deep sleep and optimal immune functioning.

Let the Sun be your Guide

Try to get up early in the morning. Natural sunlight is best to normalize the circadian rhythm. Be sure to get out in the sunshine every morning for at least twenty minutes to raise serotonin levels. Be sure to exercise early in the day. A brisk walk is enough to help reset the circadian rhythm and normalize brain chemistry.

Take Care of your Adrenal Glands

The adrenals become very fatigued when the sleep cycle is disrupted. It’s as if your body is in constant fight or flight mode and eventually the adrenals poop out.

Sometimes the best remedy for adrenal fatigue and resultant brain chemistry imbalance is resetting the circadian rhythm. Deep sleep at night and up and active in the daytime. The goal is to get to sleep within three hours of dusk and up shortly after dawn.

Be sure to support healthy adrenal function with Genesis Gold. For extra support DMAR Natural Adrenal Therapy is available with a complete protocol for healing adrenal fatigue.

If you are taking care of someone suffering from dyscircadian rhythm, you need the same sleep hygiene to be able to stay well.

Love and Light, 

Deborah Maragopoulos MN FNP
Intuitive Integrative Health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *