Many of us have to care for patients or elderly parents, or a disabled loved one, and it can certainly be taxing on our physical and emotional wellbeing. A study showed that 1/5 of caregivers report feeling exhausted before going to bed at night. Still, most caregivers view their roles as an overall positive experience, but it’s undoubtedly a challenge to focus on your wellbeing while devoting so much time caring for someone else.
Some strategies to get enough sleep are: Asking for backup (for example, Alzheimer’s patients often experience and phenomenon called sundowning, when their confusion and anxiety worsen later in the day. This in turn, may keep you up at night, too, since they have trouble sleeping themselves. Getting help a few nights a week, from family or a professional, can help you catch some shut-eye).
Also, don’t avoid your doctor’s appointments, since it’s a great way to discuss your lack of sleep and whether there might be another underlying cause, such as sleep apnea.
Finally, make time to move around. Daily exercise has numerous benefits, including better sleep, as well as battle depression (which some caregivers eventually develop). So, when your loved one is napping, take the chance to go for a walk, or do some yoga, or even a fitness video! 10 minutes a day is all you need.
- 1Acting as a caregiver for an aging loved comes with both rewards and challenges.
- 2Caregivers need to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep in order to preserve their own health and well-being.
- 3It’s important for caregivers to carve out time for exercise, such as yoga, which will help with sleep and depression.
See the original at: https://sleep.org/articles/caregivers-focus-better-sleep/
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