Sleep is essential for every family caregiver, but it's not always easy to get. There may be a variety of reasons that you're not getting the sleep that you need. You might even have a combination of all of them.
Listen to Relaxation Tapes or Music Before Bed
Lots of people have a difficult time turning their brain off at night, so there are entire categories of relaxation music or even sleeping music. One thing you can do is try playing these before you go to bed or even while you're getting into bed. The music can help to cue your brain that it's time for sleep and that it can start slowing down. Combining this with relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, can also help.
Exercise at Least a Little Every Day
If you're not already exercising, it may be time to add that to your day after talking to your doctor to make sure it's safe for you. Exercising too late in the day can actually keep your body fired up, making it even more difficult to get some shuteye. Try exercising in the morning, if you can, but aim for finishing up by at least early afternoon, just to be on the safe side.
Check Your Caffeine Intake
When you're not sleeping well, you're often tired and relying on other crutches, like sugar or caffeine. The problem is, that means you're taking in those stimulants all day long. Then, by the time it's bedtime, you're still too wired to sleep well at all. The next morning, the hamster wheel starts all over again because you're groggy and tired. Figure out when you're taking in the most caffeine and start giving yourself a caffeine curfew. Aim to quit by early afternoon or sooner if you're sensitive to caffeine.
Get Some Extra Help
Another cause of sleeplessness for some family caregivers is that their elderly loved one is extremely active at night. It's tough to be on all day for your loved one's needs and then have to be up for the night shift, too. That can't last long. So it might be time to enlist the help of other family members or even home care providers who can take one of those shifts for you.
Often there's not just one cause for poor sleep habits, so keep trying solutions to find the right combination for you.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN CONCORD, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.