Are your elderly parents getting the sleep they need?
Have you ever tried to fall asleep but just couldn’t? Or have you fallen asleep just to wake up in the middle of the night and then you can’t fall asleep until just before the alarm goes off? Are you staying awake to care for elderly parents? Sleep is such an important factor in our lives; it controls how we behave, our mood, our energy level, healing and growth.
While we are in National Sleep Awareness Week, we thought we would look at 6 things you can do to get a better night’s sleep.
1. Have a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. By creating a routine, you body’s biological clock will get used to it and you will sleep better.
2. Track your sleep. Write down when you go to bed, how you feel, if you wake up – and how long and how many times. Also track what you did, ate or drank close to bedtime. This may help you identify certain foods or activities that could be affecting your sleep.
3. Wind down. Don’t go from fully active to bedtime in a couple minutes. Take time to prepare yourself: have your things together for the next day; brush your teeth, hair, etc; relax in bed or practice some deep breathing/meditation.
4. Skip alcohol before bed. When the alcohol levels in your body start to drop, it signals your body to wake up. So even though you may think alcohol will help you fall asleep, it won’t keep you asleep for long.
5. Create ‘white noise.’ Buy a ‘white noise’ machine, CD or MP3 download that will block outside noises or distractions from within your own home. This will help you clear your mind and focus on falling asleep.
6. Don’t let your pets sleep with you. Cats are especially active in the late night/early morning hours and may want you to be awake when they are. Have you ever been nudged in the middle of the night for no reason except they wanted you to know they were there? That doesn’t help your sleep. It may be time to have Fluffy or Spot find another sleeping space away from yours.
When you are the primary caregiver for a loved one that needs help throughout the night, you can’t get the sleep you need to take care of yourself because your focus is on your loved one.
At Assisting Hands Home Care we want to take that burden off of your shoulders. If you can get the rest you need, you will be able to take better care of your loved one, yourself and your family – in addition to a job or other activities that you have. Whether you need someone to be with your loved one during the day, in the evening or overnight, we can accommodate your needs. You will sleep better knowing that your loved one isn’t home alone when they need help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.