Finding time to sleep may be one of the biggest challenges of caregiving. Sleep deprivation isn’t just dangerous for you as the caregiver; it also puts the person you are caring for at risk. It’s not unusual for caregivers to experience sleep problems like insomnia, as a result. But getting a good night’s sleep is important, and not just for your own health; being overtired can seriously affect your ability to provide proper care. In this video, we’ll walk you through some helpful tips to ensure that you’re fully rested and able to offer the best caregiving possible.
Caregiving can sometimes be a stressful job, and it’s not unusual for caregivers to experience sleep problems like insomnia, as a result.
But getting a good night’s sleep is important, and not just for your own health; being overtired can seriously affect your ability to provide proper care.
In this video, we’ll walk you through some helpful tips to ensure that you’re fully rested and able to offer the best caregiving possible.
All humans need sleep; it’s when we heal and recharge. If your sleep schedule is off, you may feel groggy and have trouble focusing on even the simplest tasks.
One of the best ways to get back onto a regular sleep schedule is to develop a routine.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This will help train your body to know when it’s time to rest.
It’s also a good idea to have a bedtime ritual that you do each night before turning in; something relaxing, like taking a warm bath, drinking a hot, non-caffeinated beverage, or getting under the covers with a good book.
Although it may be tempting to nap during the day – if you’re feeling tired, naps can affect your regular sleep schedule. If you do feel like you need a nap, try to take it earlier in the day, and limit it to no more than 20 minutes.
Daily exercise may be helpful as well. Exercising will make you feel more tired at the end of the day and help you get a more restful sleep.
Watching what you eat and drink is another good way to manage insomnia.
Reducing or removing caffeine from your diet can have a big impact on your sleep patterns, so make an effort to only have it early in the day.
You should also try to limit your alcohol intake. Although drinking alcohol may help you fall into a light sleep, it will prevent you from going into the deeper sleep stages that will make you feel more well-rested.
Try to eat regular, nutritious meals throughout the day, and avoid eating anything heavy right before bed.
Creating a better sleep environment may also help you to doze off faster and stay asleep longer.
The blue light from devices like your phone or TV can prevent your brain from going to sleep, so try to avoid looking at screens for at least 30 minutes before bed.
Make sure that your bedroom is as dark as possible, and try your best to limit any outside sources of light. Even the light from your alarm clock could be affecting your ability to fall asleep.
You may also find that adjusting the temperature can help you sleep better, so try to keep your bedroom around 17-19 degrees celsius.
Some people find turning on a white noise machine or a fan helpful, as it can drown out noises during the night.
Keeping your bedroom tidy may improve your sleep as well since a cluttered environment can sometimes be a source of stress.
Of course, no matter how perfect your environment is, there will still be days when you can’t seem to fall asleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning, it’s a good idea to get out of bed and focus your mind on something else for a few minutes. Try reading a book or doing a deep breathing exercise to calm yourself down. When you start to feel sleepy, get back into bed and try again.
Remember, getting enough sleep is an important part of being a good caregiver.
You owe it to both yourself and the person you’re caring for to make sure you’re well-rested and ready to face the day.
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