Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health and safety, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues.
Caregivers often find themselves exhausted at the end of the day, but many are still not able to sleep. Varying studies have documented that up to 60% of caregivers report sleeping less than 7 hours.
Getting a good night’s sleep is not only necessary in order for you to take care of yourself, it is also necessary to provide quality of care for your loved one. Here are a few ways to help yourself get a better night’s sleep.
- Getting exercise daily is good for your health and it helps with sleep. Just don’t exercise close to bedtime.
- A regular sleep routine—one that is calming, e.g. taking a bath or reading—and a regular bedtime are important to getting good sleep.
- A room that is dark, quiet and a little cool can make a big difference in helping you get good zzz’s.
- Avoiding caffeine late in the day and large meals before bedtime will help you sleep better at night.
- Avoiding “blue light” from electronic screens (TVs, computers, tablets, smart phones) two to three hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster.
- Learning a few relaxation techniques can help you get in sleep mode. Commit to a daily meditation routine before bedtime.
- Get checked for possible sleep disorders. If you have insomnia, or suspect another type of sleep disorder, talk to your doctor.
What have you found that has helped you get more rest as a caregiver?