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Caregivers and Lack of Sleep

A good night’s sleep is one of the important things a caregiver needs, but it’s often quite elusive. In fact, sleep problems are one of the most common problems faced by caregivers, and in the long run can contribute to health issues, including depression. You’re probably aware of being tired, but there are signs that you can look for to see if you’re reaching a dangerous level of fatigue.

Some of these are:

  • You walk into a room and forget why you went there.

  • You draw a complete blank when you try to recall where you placed items that you had been carrying just a few minutes earlier, such as your keys, or a list.

  • You zone out at stop lights and don’t notice the light has changed to green.

  • After hanging up the phone you can’t even remember if you said good-bye.

  • After having a conversation, you realize that you aren’t sure of what it was about.

  • You walk into a store, feel overwhelmed by the task of shopping and just leave.

Sleep deprivation can lead to many serious problems, including automobile accidents, diabetes and heart disease, so it’s important to find a way to get some desperately needed sleep.

Here are some tips that might help improve your sleep:

  • Cover up all the glowing lights in your bedroom. These can include lights from modems and alarms.

  • Make sure outside lights are completely blocked from entering through the window.

  • Some people use a beauty mask to competely cover their eyes, and insert ear plugs to drown out all sounds.

  • As you try to go to sleep, think about pleasant things, such as a beautiful waterfall, or a pet that brings you pleasure.

  • Have a comfortable pillow and covers and perhaps a bowl of lavender or scents nearby that sooth you.

Start keeping a log of when you slept well and when you didn’t and see if you can identify a pattern that might reveal what keeps you from sleeping, such as eating too late, or reliving the day’s events. If you can pinpoint a connection between what might keep you from falling asleep, you might be able to find a way to eliminate those obstacles to a good night’s sleep.

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