For many busy caregivers, getting a full eight hours of sleep sounds like a dream. Maybe you’re a restless sleeper, or perhaps your caregiving responsibilities keep you up at night. Here are a few strategies sure to help you enhance your sleep.
Keep the Bedroom at the Right Temperature
Some caregivers may crank up the thermostat during the day to keep their senior loved ones comfortable. However, when bedrooms are too warm or too cold, it makes falling asleep more difficult. To maximize your nightly sleep, keep your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Create a Healthy Pre-Sleep Routine
To ensure high-quality sleep, establish a healthy pre-sleep routine. For at least an hour before going to sleep, power down all devices. Television screens, smartphones, and tablets emit bright light, which the brain interprets as a sign that it’s daytime. Instead of using devices, create a routine full of soothing, restful activities like taking a bath or meditating. You should also try to avoid stressful thoughts. When you feel anxious, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that can keep you up at night.
If you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to manage everything on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
Maintain a Consistent Schedule
You don’t have to follow a traditional sleep schedule, especially if your caregiving responsibilities make it difficult to sleep. However, you should strive to be as consistent as possible and arrange your daily duties to maximize sleep potential. Stick to this schedule on the weekends as well, as it can help you synchronize your internal clock.
Having a professional caregiver join your caregiving team can offer a huge amount of relief. In Huntsville, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
Get Some Exercise
Many caregivers have difficulty finding time for exercise in their busy schedules. However, you should try to fit in a few minutes of activity every day. Exercise isn’t just good for the body. It also enhances sleep quality. If you do 30 minutes of cardio in the morning, your body will be tired and relaxed by the time bedtime rolls around. Don’t exercise too late at night, as exercising has immediate energizing effects. Try to exercise in the morning or afternoon. You don’t have to clear an hour out of your daily schedule. Exercising for 10-minute periods throughout the day may be just as effective.
Make sure you’re napping correctly. Short naps of 10 to 30 minutes can boost productivity and energy levels, but longer naps could make you feel lethargic and make it difficult to sleep at night.
Avoid Eating before You Sleep
Certain late-night habits make sleep harder to come by. For example, eating a large meal late at night may prevent restful sleep. Drinking too many liquids is also frowned upon, as it can lead to nighttime bathroom trips.
You can boost your long-term effectiveness as a family caregiver by making self-care a priority, and adding a professional caregiver to your support team can help you accomplish that. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elder care. Huntsville families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (256) 716-9940.