Once you become a family caregiver, it may sometimes feel as though you can never get enough rest, and it may only become more difficult to get enough sleep as your senior loved one experiences health issues that keep him or her up during the night. Since you need to be rested to perform your duties, try using these six tips to increase your ability to get restful sleep.
1. Put Your Phone Away
Your smartphone is an asset when you need to check your calendar and schedule appointments. However, you don’t need to be using your phone just before bed. Cell phones emit bright light that can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm. You may also end up spending more time on your phone than you anticipate, which could cut into the hours you need for sleep. Try storing your phone in a different room if you think you’ll be tempted to use it before bedtime.
2. Minimize Environmental Disruptions
You may also be waking up due to outside noises or lights without realizing it. If your room is located near a street, try putting up light-blocking curtains to reduce the chances of being awakened by things such as car headlights. You can also use a white noise machine to reduce noises that interfere with your sleep.
3. Find Ways to Relieve Stress
Your emotional state also affects your sleep patterns. For instance, worrying about a recent health test could keep you up late into the night. You may also find it difficult to unwind once you try to get ready for bed. Finding ways to lower your stress levels during the day helps you sleep in the evening. Consider talking to a professional counselor if you experience serious anxiety, or just spend a lunch hour talking to a friend.
If you’re feeling 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 senior 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.
4. Hire an Overnight Caregiver
Your loved one may also need help during the night. Waking up to assist your parent with getting to the restroom or taking medications means your sleep is constantly disrupted. Try hiring an overnight caregiver to take care of your loved one so you no longer have to wake up at night.
Having a professional caregiver join your caregiving team can offer a huge amount of relief. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Portland, ME, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
5. Exercise during the Day
You need to burn off energy during the day to promote better rest. Make sure to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, but remember to do it at least two hours before bedtime, as this allows your body to release endorphins that promote a more rested state of mind.
6. Relax for an Hour before Bed
You can also do relaxing rituals to help you get in the mood for rest. Try starting a journal you can write in for a few minutes before bed. You can also listen to soothing music or read a paperback book. Unwinding before bedtime allows you to drift peacefully off to sleep.
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 senior home care. Portland 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. Call us today at (207) 835-4849 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.