For many caregivers, it’s difficult to remember the last time they got a solid 8 consecutive hours of sleep. Being a caregiver, managing other important relationships, and working outside of the home can be exhausting for just about anyone. Getting a good night’s sleep to avoid caregiver burnout should be a priority for every caregiver.
There have been many studies over the years that have shown how sleep deprivation adversely affects people physically and mentally. Losing a couple of hours per night adds up over a week’s time. Compound that over many weeks, and you can see why caregiver burnout is so prevalent among family caregivers.
It’s always helpful to know the benefits of something in order to make it a priority in our lives. So, in that vein, here are five very good reasons that getting that solid night of uninterrupted sleep is invaluable.
1. Sleep Reduces Caregiver Stress Levels
It’s a vicious cycle. First, you become stressed because you’re not getting enough sleep; then you can’t sleep because you’re stressed. Our body responds by releasing excess cortisol, further elevating our stress levels. Improved quantity and quality of sleep can help you control your stress levels.
2. Improves Memory
Your loved one’s dementia isn’t rubbing off on you. We all forget where we put the car keys from time to time, but studies confirm that short-term memory is adversely affected by sleep deprivation, and long-term memory is as well. It’s when we sleep that the information we’ve processed during the day is processed and committed to long-term memory. Interrupted sleep inhibits this from happening. Get that regular eight hours to make your memory stronger.
3. Diminishes Depression
Evidence indicates that sleep deprivation plays a role in mood regulation. Inadequate sleep increases a person’s risk of developing mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Restful sleep can diminish this risk and reduce your symptoms if you already suffer from depression.
4. Curbs Food Cravings
Good ole comfort food. Sleep deficits often cause anxiety, making us much more susceptible to reaching for ice cream or chips. Getting 40 winks will help reduce your trips to the fridge and pantry.
5. Improves Overall Health
Getting adequate rest can help make up for the lost exercise time and unhealthy eating that caregivers often live with because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And that good night’s sleep can reduce your risk of experiencing a variety of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and inflammation.
Need Some Help Getting Sleep as a Caregiver?
One of a caregiver’s best friends is respite care. Dependable Senior Care’s highly qualified caregivers can step in while you get the sleep you need to be at the top of your game in all of the roles in life you fulfill. Give us a call today at (800) 500-9192, and we’ll fill you in on how we can help you feel like a new you.