Sleep deprivation is common among caregivers, especially if they find it difficult to unwind at the end of the day or often get up in the middle of the night to assist their loved ones. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can be difficult to think clearly. You may also be at greater risk for developing anxiety and having an accident. Figuring out how to get more rest helps you continue to feel your best as you care for your senior loved one.
1. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
If possible, you should sleep in your own room rather than on your loved one’s couch or in his or her room. As long as your loved one doesn’t need you in the room, you can use a baby monitor to let you know when he or she needs help. You may also want to add room-darkening curtains or a white noise machine to eliminate light and noise that keeps you up. Turning your bedroom into an oasis makes it easier to stay asleep.
2. Find Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
After a long day, it might be difficult to shut your mind off enough to rest. Create a soothing bedtime ritual that helps you relax. You might need to turn off your electronics and listen to relaxing music or read a book. If you have worries running through your mind, try writing them down in a bedside journal, and tell yourself you can address them the next day.
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 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.
3. Know How to Handle Nighttime Sleep Interruptions
Most caregivers occasionally wake up during the night to assist their loved ones, and you might find it difficult to get back to sleep after taking your loved one to the bathroom. Naturally, you’ll need lights to help you find your way, but you might want to use softer ones during the evening. You can also talk to your loved one in quiet, relaxed tones that signal your brain it’s still nighttime. If you find you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something calming, such as reading. As soon as you start to get sleepy again, head back to bed.
4. Take Advantage of Mini-Breaks
Power naps can revive you on those days when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. If your loved one has a regular nap time, try to lie down yourself if you can. Even if you don’t fall asleep, just closing your eyes for a few minutes can help your body feel more rested. You can also do a five-minute meditation or simply put your feet up for a quick break.
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 home care. Philadelphia 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.
5. Hire an In-Home Respite Caregiver
As your loved one’s care needs grow, you may find you have very little time for rest. This is when you need to hire someone who can help you out on a regular basis. You might need a respite caregiver to handle your loved one’s overnight needs. Find out what works for you, and choose a caregiver that can help you out when you need it most.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Philadelphia families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663 to learn more about our customized care plans.