Being a caregiver of someone who requires 24/7 care is tough under any circumstances. Add in dealing with confusion, aggression, sundowning, wandering, and all the other behaviors that go along with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s not a wonder why as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you may be sleep deprived.
But here’s why it’s so important for you to get the sleep you need. Sleep deprivation can:
- Make you feel anxious and/or irritable
- Interfere with concentration
- Impair your judgement
- Make you more susceptible to illness
- Increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes
- Lead to depression
- Impair your ability to provide good care
Sleep deprivation in Alzheimer’s caregivers is often caused by caregiver stress. Here are some things you can do that may help:
- Talk to your Kansas City family physician. Your doctor may be able to offer suggestions and prescribe medications that will help you sleep better at night.
- Safeguard your home. Implementing Alzheimer’s-specific safety measures can help keep you from worrying about things like wandering or dementia-related injuries.
- Eat healthy foods. A healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce stress so you can get a better night’s sleep.
- Exercise. Aerobic exercise will give you more energy throughout the day and help you sleep better at night.
- Ask for respite. Respite for Alzheimer’s caregivers is essential. Try to get a family member to come over and spend the night once or twice a week so you can sleep without worry.
- Get help. Consider enlisting the help of a Kansas City home care agency that specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Make sure you choose a Kansas City home health agency that provides care 24/7.