For many caregivers, the idea of receiving a solid eight hours of sleep on a given night sounds like a wonderful pipe dream. After all, it’s difficult for people who don’t have the added concern of providing care to a senior loved one to get eight hours in each night, so what chance would they have?
It should come as no surprise that many caregivers are sleep deprived, and at risk for sleep disorders like insomnia. One study found that 92% of, virtually all, caregivers for seniors afflicted with dementia report poor sleep quality, with short total sleep times, frequent wakings during the night, and longer than usual amount of time taken to fall asleep.
While prioritizing sleep as a caregiver can be a hard row to hoe, it should be a priority for any elder care plan. After all, the better the health and mindset of the caregiver, the better the care provided will be.
Reduced Stress: The single most common affliction among caregivers is a buildup of too much stress. Stress greatly affects sleep quantity and quality, making it important to address early before it causes too much damage down the road.
Better Memory: One of the symptoms of sleep deprivation is reduced memory and cognitive skills, which can feel like sort of a “brain fogginess”. Minor lapses in memory can occur simply because you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Heightened Health: Even if you take the time to exercise and eat healthy, poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation can cause any of the positive benefits to be canceled out, leaving your overall health worse. Sleep deprivation is linked with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and certain cancers.