Focusing on your sleep is one of the best health moves you can make as a caregiver. Being a caregiver is one of the most stressful things that you can experience—the effect that this stress can have on a person is so bad that it earned its own name. Caregiver burnout, the thing that all caregivers fear, causes a lot of problems, including insomnia and increased tiredness.
Deep sleep allows your body to restore itself, relieving you of the physical and emotional stresses that you experienced during the day. When you are sleep deprived, those stresses can compound. You are more prone to make mistakes. As a caregiver, you have to worry about not only yourself but your loved one, too, and when you make mistakes, you could be putting your loved one at risk.
If you are having trouble sleeping and you’re worried that your caregiving is suffering from it, try implementing these tips in your life.
Actively Reduce Stress at Night
Every busy person needs a nightly routine to help them wind down and get into the mindset of sleep. Your nightly routine should be relaxing so that your brain knows that it’s almost time for sleep. Consider taking a warm bath or reading a book that allows you to tune out the stress of the day.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Your habits during the day can also exacerbate your sleep problems. To help your mind and body fall asleep, it’s important to take note of what you put into your body and how you expend energy during the day. For instance, avoiding alcohol and caffeine can make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Alcohol is especially disruptive to sleep patterns, so limit your intake as much as possible. Exercise before bed, while it might seem like a good way to tire you out, can actually give you more energy. You can also encourage sleep by turning off your phone or computer at least a half hour before you want to fall asleep. The light that these devices emit are known to disrupt sleep.
Seek Help from Your Network
Caregiving is often too much for one person to manage on their own. If you have family or friends who you think would be willing to take on some responsibility, don’t be afraid to ask them. Even if it’s one day a week, having some extra time can do wonders. With less to manage, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to getting good sleep and dealing with your stress, which will make you a better caregiver when you do have to take care of your loved one. You can also hire a professional caregiver for respite care services if you need a day off.
Now that you know a few ways to improve your sleep, go ahead and try them today. Need a break from caregiving to recharge your batteries? Granny NANNIES Miami can help. Contact us today to learn more.