6 Resources For Combatting Caregiver Sleep Deprivation
Sleep is critical for hardworking caregivers but finding adequate quality sleep can be difficult given daily life and caring duties. Care At Heart offers six helpful hints for caregivers who are suffering from sleep deprivation. Learn how to enhance sleep quality by making it simpler to fall asleep and remain asleep.
Is your caregiver responsibilities becoming more tough due to a lack of sleep?
After a full day of caring for your elderly relative, running errands, cooking, wrangling doctor’s offices and insurance companies, and working, it may appear that going asleep quickly is simple, but this is not always the case.
Unfortunately, worry, anxiety, and a never-ending To-Do list prohibit many caregivers from receiving the 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep that they require.
Sleep deprivation is still linked to an increased risk of depression, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, mood swings, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers.
Strategies For Fighting Sleep Deprivation
If you’re a caregiver who has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting quality sleep, don’t miss out on these six helpful hints.
1. Improve Your Sleeping Environment
There are a few easy things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep in your bedroom.
One suggestion to prevent sleep deprivation is to keep light exposure to a minimum. Consider closing the curtains, turning out all lights both inside and outside the bedroom, and wearing an eye mask.
Experts have also shown that lower temperatures promote higher sleep quality. Adjust your bedroom temperature to between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit whenever possible.
Limiting noise can also help the brain relax in preparation for sleep. To drown out any noise outside, avoid falling asleep with the TV on. Instead, play quiet music or white noise on your smartphone.
A weighted blanket can also help you sleep better. They help to relax nerves, provide comfort, and promote restful sleep.
2. Make Preparations For Appointments
Every caregiver knows what it’s like to be in that situation. As item after item is added to your mental To Do list for an appointment the next day, you lie there in bed unable to fall asleep.
Whether you’re taking your senior to the doctor, a specialist, or just for a quick screening or test, you’ll probably need to plan a few things ahead of time.
This could involve bringing snacks, drinks, and medicine, as well as compiling a list of questions and concerns to present to the doctor.
Instead of worrying late at night leading to sleep deprivation, spend the day before your appointment preparing everything.
This also provides you with extra time to recall something you may have forgotten.
3. Explore Remote Monitoring Options
You might benefit from remote monitoring equipment if the stress of caring for your older adult is causing you to get up and check on them throughout the night.
You can set up remote monitoring devices in your older adult’s room to keep an eye on them without having to get out of bed.
Many digital baby monitors, for example, allow you to listen in on someone in another room while also viewing live footage of them.
4. Stay Away From Blue Light.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, research shows that blue light must be avoided.
Blue light from digital gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and even televisions causes the brain to decrease the production of melatonin (the hormone that signals your body when it’s time to sleep).
Set your smartphone to a night shift mode to emit warmer light around bedtime to reduce blue light exposure. Alternatively, attempt to limit your use of digital devices in the hours coming up to night.
It is vital to acquire real sun exposure throughout the day in order to manage your natural circadian rhythm. So, open the blinds and go outside for a few moments.
5. Eat Before Going to Bed
If you rely on caffeine and sweets to get through each evening as a caregiver, you’re not doing your brain or body any favors when it’s time for bed.
Instead, eat foods that contain minerals like melatonin, which naturally induces sleep.
Tart cherry juice, almonds, and walnuts are among the ingredients. Chamomile tea, turkey, banana, kiwi, and fatty salmon are some more foods that can help you sleep better and fight sleep deprivation.
6. Workout Fight Sleep Deprivation
Wearing your body out with exercise is a sure-fire strategy to help you fall asleep and remain asleep all night.
Caregiving responsibilities can be tiring, but they aren’t the same as committing to a certain period of physical fitness, such as going for a brisk walk or using resistance bands at home.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, do bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges while cooking, and walk around (rather than sitting) while on the phone to get extra physical activity into your day.
These strategies highlighted above are effective for fighting sleep deprivation, all caregivers facing difficulties in sleeping should try it out.