We all feel this way sometimes, groggy, irritable and dreaming of “Hitting the Hay,” as my dad use to say. It’s simple to see that we, as people, are not getting enough time behind the eyelids. As a caregiver, I can attest to this being accurate. Caregivers especially have it rough. Dedication to caring for others will call for a lot of sleepless nights. Stress is also a component caregivers cannot avoid. The very reason Caregiving Agencies exist is to help take over for the sleepless and stressed family caregivers. Sleep, or lack thereof, can make even the smallest tasks more difficult. Not to mention there are many health risks associated with sleep deprivation.
The sleep deprived caregiver is much more dangerous than just being sleepy and unproductive. A Caregivers responsibilities range from simple daily tasks of food prep and laundry, to full bed bound care to a totally dependent, elderly adult. If a sleep deprived caregiver forgets a medication reminder, that person doesn’t have a backup plan and it poses a very serious risk. If a sleep deprived caregiver fails to have the timing reflex to help their loved one avoid an injury while walking (i.e. Bumping walls, ascending stairs, slick surfaces), there’s a potential for crisis. A sleep deprived caregiver won’t have good reaction time while transporting their loved one to an appointment. Caregivers, know your limits and take notice to your sleeping habits. For your loved ones and clients alike, and especially for your own health.
“In fact, about a third of American workers, or roughly 40.6 million adults, get fewer than six hours of sleep each night, HuffPost reported in April
Getting less than the optimal seven to nine hours recommended by the CDC can result in serious health issues, like heart problems and obesity. But it can also disturb your day-to-day behavior in some more subtle ways.”
How Important is The Sleep You Get?
Pretty Darn important. Lack of sleep over time can result in some bad stuff like: Obesity, heart disease, heart attacks and diabetes.
The sleep deprived caregiver may suffer in other ways. Their care recipient could experience additional suffering, poor nutrition, missing meds, falls and other tragedies. The body needs rest to repair it from all of the bad stuff we do to it throughout the day.
WebMd actually gives us 9 good reasons it’s important to get more sleep.
How can You Tell If You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep?
It might be pretty well evident that you’re not getting 7 – 9 hours. Waking up and not going back to sleep, waking up gasping, falling asleep in social settings or at work, moody, groggy, etc. The sleep deprived caregiver may experience slow response time, unfinished tasks and forgetfulness. Some just don’t think about it. You might be one of many that think it’s normal because its been happening so long. Maybe you think irritability is a naturally occurring character trait. It is worth checking out for your health. If you’re not aware that you get up through the night, or you don’t have others complaining about your snoring, or sleeplessness isn’t totally evident then maybe a sleep exam is best for you.
EverydayHealth.com has a “How Well are You Sleeping Quiz” That is really useful.
How Well Are You Sleeping?
Getting a good night’s rest can be rejuvenating. Sleeping well on a regular basis can also help boost your overall health, energy, performance, and mood. However, there are many common culprits that can get between you and good sleep. Take this quiz to evaluate your sleep habits and your bedtime routine, and learn how you can turn a fitful night into a restful one.
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