7 Tips to Help Family Caregivers Get the Sleep They Need
By Nick Paciello 9 am on
Due to their long list of responsibilities, many caregivers feel as if they aren’t getting enough sleep. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, lethargy, depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. The following seven tips can help you get plenty of sleep each night so you can stay healthy, happy, and focused.
1. Create a Strict Sleep Schedule
Getting into bed at a different time every night can negatively affect your natural circadian rhythm, making it difficult for your body to enter the restorative stage of the sleep cycle. Even if you don’t fall asleep right away, you still need to get into bed at the same time each night. You should also try to wake up at the same time every morning, including your days off. Lack of sleep may impact your ability to provide in-home care to your senior loved one. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality at-home elder care, Henderson Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
If you face difficulty falling asleep at night, you should create and follow a strict bedtime routine. Some of the tasks you might want to add to your nighttime routine include listening to classical music, reading, taking a hot bath, meditating, and stretching.
3. Avoid Using Electronic Devices Before Bedtime
A recent study funded by the National Sleep Foundation found that devices such as smartphones and tablets emit a type of blue light that prevents the glands from producing melatonin and other vital hormones. Using electronic devices just before bed makes it difficult for the body to reset its circadian rhythm. According to the study, it’s important to put electronic devices away one hour before going to sleep.
4. Write in a Journal
Chronic stress is one of the most common causes of sleep deprivation among caregivers. Writing in a journal for 10 or 15 minutes every day can minimize stress and enhance psychological health. Some people include journaling in their nighttime routine to get negative thoughts out of their head just before going to sleep.
5. Skip the Junk Food
All the foods you eat throughout the day can impact the quality of sleep you get each night. Your body won’t be able to produce key hormones and chemicals if you only eat junk food. Most of your meals should consist of whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean protein sources. Foods filled with processed sweeteners, dyes, and simple carbohydrates must be eaten in moderation. Quitting junk food is just one of the many ways caregivers can boost their health and provide high-quality care to their senior loved ones. Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Henderson, Nevada, seniors and their families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life.
6. Avoid Self-Medicating
There are many ways to self-medicate, including taking sleeping pills, eating sugary treats, and drinking alcohol. Some of these products may make you feel good for a few minutes, but they could negatively impact your sleep schedule over time. In the hours leading up to your bedtime, avoid anything that could affect your circadian rhythm or energy levels, including soda, candy, alcoholic beverages, and caffeinated tea.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Some of your caregiving duties might make it impossible to get a good night’s rest, and you may have to ask for help if you are deprived of sleep. Waking up multiple times at night to give your loved one medication or help him or her to the restroom could impact your sleep cycle. Occasionally getting help from a family member or professional caregiver allows you to reset your internal clock.Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to take a break from your caregiving duties to catch up on your sleep. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Henderson, NV, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at (702) 527-7723 today.