Sleep Hygiene Tips for Exhausted Family Caregivers

By , 9:00 am on

There’s no getting around the fact that caregiving can be exhausting. Taking care of your aging parent while managing personal responsibilities could lead to mental and physical health issues and make you irritable if you aren’t getting enough sleep, and you may even find yourself taking out your irritation on your parent. Following these sleep hygiene tips may help you feel better and make you a better caregiver for your loved one.

Cut the Caffeine

Like most people, you probably start your day with a caffeinated beverage like coffee or tea, which can be a great pick-me-up when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. However, it can also prevent you from getting enough sleep the next night, creating a vicious cycle and leaving you exhausted. Try cutting the caffeine from your daily routine, and if you can’t cut it out completely, try not to have any at least four hours before you go to bed.

Being sleep deprived and exhausted could make it harder for you to look after your parent. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Clearwater Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Turn Off the Screens

It’s easy to fall into the habit of unwinding in front of the TV, computer, phone, or tablet before bedtime, but all the blue light from those devices can interfere with sleep. Studies have shown that watching electronic devices before bedtime can reduce the amount of melatonin in the body, making a person feel more awake. Try finding a new way to unwind before bed, such as reading, listening to music, taking a walk, or taking a warm bath. It’s also important to sleep in a dark room without a TV or other devices lighting it up.

Stick to a Sleep Schedule

It can be difficult to stick to a schedule, especially if your loved one also has sleep disturbances or tends to stay up late or get up early. If you have children or a separate job, these responsibilities can make a schedule even more complicated. However, going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning can help your body get used to sleeping when you want it to. Make any necessary adjustments you can to create a schedule. 

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. Clearwater 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.

Create an Ideal Sleeping Environment

Some caregivers must sleep in the same room as the person they’re caring for, but don’t do this unless it’s necessary. The place where you sleep should be your sanctuary. Treat yourself to comfortable mattresses, pillows, sheets, and blankets. Set the room to your desired temperature. Paint the walls, decorate, and add scents that relax and calm you. Use the room only for sleeping and relaxing, not working, caregiving, or any other daily chores.

See Your Doctor

If all else fails, you may need to talk to your doctor if you’re having difficulty sleeping. The doctor can screen you for sleep disorders that may be impacting your rest, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Your doctor may also have other suggestions for how you can get a good night’s sleep, such as changing your diet or taking natural or prescription medication until the issue subsides.

If you’re experiencing exhaustion and sleep deprivation, consider hiring a professional caregiver so you can get some rest. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Clearwater, FL, 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. Call (727) 330-7862 to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager today.