Do you get enough sleep? Is that a silly question? While the average
adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night, millions of Americans
struggle to get by on far less than that.
For those taking care of a senior family member, the problem can be even more pronounced. At Home Instead Senior Care serving Central Oregon,
so many family caregivers have told us that the added responsibility of
caring for another adult, coupled with stress and, in some cases, the
sleeplessness of the senior themselves, have whittled the amount of z’s
they get down to zilch.
But sleep isn’t a luxury you can afford to miss out on: it is a crucial component to health and vitality. Numerous studies
link prolonged lack of sleep to everything from an increased risk of
catching the common cold to certain kinds of cancer to diabetes to
earlier death. It cannot only contribute to obesity due to changes in
the levels of appetite hormones, it can also actually make you crave and
eat more high-calorie, high-carb foods. It can cause irreversible brain
cell death. And, of course, it can make you short-tempered and edgy.
course, getting your eight hours is easier said than done when there
are so many demands on your time. Some family caregivers even feel
guilty for prioritizing their own sleep when each 24-hour day has
roughly 30-hours worth of things to do.
Think of it this way,
though: if you get sick, if your judgment is impaired or if you’re
stressed out and snappish, it’s not only you who suffers. It impacts
everyone around you, including the person or people for whom you are
The other bad news is that sleeplessness can be a pattern
that’s hard to break. Doesn’t it sometimes feel like sleepless nights
beget sleepless nights? At CaregiverStress.com, they have some great tips to try to stop the cycle of insomnia:
Fore more information, please contact 541-330-6400.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.