This is the first post in a two part series on how to get a better night’s sleep.
Many factors can affect our sleep: stress, illness, children and more. Maybe you can fall asleep easily, but wake up for good in the middle of the night. Or, maybe it takes you forever to turn off your brain. When you’re a caregiver, sleep is your best defense to ward off stress, depression and illness during a difficult time. Follow these five steps and get your Zzzs.
- Skip the Caffeine. Do yourself a favor from the start and skip the caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine consumed even as long as six hours before bed can affect your ability to fall asleep. The same can be said for alcohol.
- Don’t Eat too Late. And don’t eat too much. Consuming fatty, greasy, sugary foods or too large of portions before bed can disrupt your sleep. Aim for small, light snacks if you’re feeling a bit hungry near bedtime.
- Prepare Your Room. Most people sleep best in a cool, quiet, dark environment. Purchase room-darkening shades for your windows. Keep your room on the cooler side and use blankets if necessary (or install a ceiling fan to keep air moving). Turn off the TV or radio, use a white noise machine to block out outside noise and put in earplugs to damper indoor noise (snoring).
- Prepare Yourself. Turn off your iPad and read a book instead. Set a routine to follow so your body knows it’s time for sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every day. Waking up at the same time every day can help you sleep better, too.
- Up Worrying? As a caregiver, it’s hard to turn your brain off at night. Whether you have trouble falling or staying asleep, try writing down what you’re thinking about. Keep a notepad by the bed and make a to-do list or write down a solution. Once it’s down on paper, your mind might ease a bit.
Getting Enough Sleep- Your Tips and Tricks
What are your tips and tricks for getting enough sleep? Share things like songs you listen to before you sleep, stretches you do before climbing into bed or breathing techniques that you focus on in our comments section below. Everyone enjoys a great night’s rest!