Five New Ideas for Getting the Sleep You Need
By Kevin Edwards, President
Sleep deprivation is a huge problem for you as a caregiver. Beyond the effects on your brain and your ability to think, you’ve also got to consider the health effects of not sleeping. But old ideas for getting more or better sleep may not have worked for you, so it could be time to try some new ideas.
Use a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats allow you to program them so that you don’t have to spend time setting them at different times of the day. The newer models also offer a way for you to control the thermostat through an app on your smartphone. This gives you an even better way to control your sleep environment at night without even getting out of bed.
Try a Weighted Blanket
Some people find that using a weighted blanket at night is soothing. This can be especially helpful if you are anxious at night or have trouble shutting down your thoughts so you can sleep. Weighted blankets are only slightly heavier than regular blankets, but that added weight can feel a bit like a hug.
Wear a Sleep Mask
Sleep masks are actually an old idea, but they’re picking up steam again. They’re extremely helpful for situations in which you can’t block or control the light in your room. If you have to sleep during the day, sleep masks can help your brain to get the message that it’s dark so you can fall asleep a little bit faster.
Consider a Monitor for Your Senior
If you live with your senior family member, you may find yourself worried during the night about how she’s doing and whether she needs anything. This can cause you to sleep fitfully because you’re constantly on edge. You can set up a monitor that you use at night that helps you and your aging family member to feel more secure that if she does need help at night, you’ll hear her and know right away.
Do a Brain Dump Before Bed
You might have heard the concept of a brain dump before, but when you do one can be just as important as having done it at all. Caregivers often have a lot going through their brains and that can keep them awake way too long. Doing a brain dump before bed gets all of that out of your head and onto a piece of paper. You can process that piece of paper the next day, when you can actually take action on what’s bugging you.
If you’re not getting the sleep that you need, it’s going to be far more difficult for you to keep up with everything that you have to do as a caregiver and in your other roles. Try some of these ideas along with more traditional ideas for getting more sleep to see what combination works for you.