A new four year study sponsored by the University of South Florida College of Nursing will look how the quality of your sleep effects your health while being a caregiver.
According to Merideth Rowe, who is leading the study, "cargiving and the lack of sleep each separately, increase the risk of heart disease." The research team wants to see if getting the proper amount of sleep will lower that risk of heart disease.
Rowe's team has already developed a product that will allow cargivers to get more rest. They developed CareAlert, a nightime monitoring system that has the ability to track bed occupancy and provides alerts throughout the night if/when a loved one gets up out of their bed and starts to wander throughtout their house.
Even without CareAlert, a good night's rest is critical to being on your caregiver's-game the next day. While Rowe and her team discover how the combination of lack of sleep and being a caregiver negatively affect health, let's assume that it's not good, and focus on getting some good rest!
There are a few ways that will allow your body to shut down and get the rest it need to provide the proper care to your loved one.
When you are looking to go to sleep for the night, try to remember a few of these tips:
- Add more protein and whole grains to your diet
- Don't go to sleep with a full stomach.
- Try to avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Make your bedroom a nice refuge that is dark and quiet.
And while this probably goes without saying, a lot of us are guilty of it: At the end of the day, if you aren't giving your body the care it needs, then the care you are providing for a loved one will suffer.
Do you get enough sleep at night? Do you have any suggestions that help you balance your role as caregiver and your role as you? Leave us a comment, or share your story with us here.