A lot of things keep caregivers awake at night. You know what they are. Stress, worries about the future, trying to get too much done in too little time, just to name a few.
Yet, sleep is so precious, and it’s one of the most important keys to self-care. The average adult should sleep seven to nine hours each night. Sleep provides many benefits, and here are 10 of them, including reducing stress, improving memory, helping you lose weight, and reducing your risk of depression.
I’ve had some sleep issues, and they’ve usually occurred during the most trying times in my life. Some of my worst sleep problems took place during the four years I was one of my brother’s primary caregivers, as well as after his suicide. I simply could NOT sleep. My brain was on overload, and it wouldn’t shut off.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I needed practice shutting my brain down so my body could get its rest. Then a friend gave me a set of CDs with meditations, and it was a revelation. Little did I know the importance of meditation for so many things, including treating insomnia.
Today, my routine absolutely includes UNplugging at night. Here are some suggestions to help you unplug:
Create a bedtime routine, complete with calming activities to relax your body and mind.
Make sure your sleep atmosphere is conducive to sleep – dark, cool, few outside disruptions, comfortable sleep attire and bedding.
Stop using all electronics at least 30 minutes before you plan to close your eyes.
Watch what you eat and drink in the evening. Go easy on heavy or spicy meals, alcohol and caffeine.
And here’s another suggestion: Join us for our very own breathing meditation classes on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. It will help you improve your sleep!