A good night’s sleep can be few and far between for all of us, and especially for caregivers. Between getting up to care for your loved one, worrying and ongoing stress, you may not be able to fall asleep or be able to get a full night’s rest. The stress of caregiving can lead to insomnia, but there are a few things you can do in your daily and evening routines to help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up rested.
- Keep the electronics out of the bedroom. In today’s connected society, this is easier said than done. If you do take your phone into the bedroom, only have it in there for emergencies or to play a relaxing, sleep-focused, mindfulness app. Don’t use it for internet browsing, emailing or playing games. Let your bedroom be your quiet place to reflect on the day, relax and ultimately, have a good night’s sleep. There are several apps available now that focus on mindfulness and helping you relax and get to sleep. These can be great tools if you have difficulty slowing your mind after a busy day.
- Do not eat or drink too late in the evening. Late meals and drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages close to bedtime can affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. Consider drinking a chamomile or lavender tea before bed. There are a number of caffeine free herbal teas that you may enjoy before bedtime.
- Establish a bed time. Retraining your internal clock to go to bed at a certain time and keeping this routine can be beneficial to more restful sleep.
- Nap. Consider taking a short nap when your loved one naps. A 20-minute nap during the day can give you the energy and rejuvenation for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
A good night’s sleep is one of our most basic needs and ongoing sleeplessness can lead to many health issues. Take the time to evaluate your sleeping pattern and ways to ensure you are getting a restful night’s sleep.