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Remember sleep is important to one’s physical, emotional and mental and spiritual well-being.
Do you think caregivers ever feel guilty taking time out for sleep and replenishment whentheir loved one is so needy and frail?ReferenceCanadian Virtual Hospice. (2015). Sleep and caregivers. Retrieved from ng+Care/Sleep+and+Caregivers.aspxOscar,Thank you for your very informative post. I really like and agree with your statement regarding caregivers rest patterns. You stated “ lack of sleep is not only frustrating but it can also affect health negatively”. I would like to share aspects of an article called “Sleep and Caregivers”.Adequate sleep is essential to staying healthy and functioning well. You need sleep to do your daily work safely, to cope with emotional stress, and to carry on giving care. Yet if you are caring for someone at home or sitting with someone round the clock in a care facility, you likely are not getting enough sleep.Researchers have found that 95% of family members who provide palliative care have serious sleep problems. These problems are becoming better understood, and increased attention is being given to caregivers' sleep problems, especially in those caring for people with cancer, dementia, Parkinson's disease, or children with illnesses or disabilities.Family caregivers often minimize their sleep problems and hesitate to talk about them with the health care team. You may feel your sleep is less important than what is happening with the person in your care. You may think you can get by with limited sleep and catch up in the future. Unfortunately, this lack of sleep is more likely to catch up withyou.Sleep disturbance is any change from the way you usually sleep i.e. feeling unrested in the morning, being sleepy during the dayFactors that contribute to caregiver sleep disturbance can be changes in routine.When you care for someone, you have less time for fresh air, exercise or relaxation,
which promote sleep, and you may consume more caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, coca cola, chocolate), which inhibits sleep.A change in sleeping environment impair adequate sleep, i.e.you may sleep on a couch ortemporary bed to be near the person you are looking after. You may be disturbed by the nighttime noise made by special equipment, such as an oxygen concentrator, alternating pressure mattress, or even a baby monitor you may use to listen for calls for help.As the person in your care becomes weaker, he or she will need help during the night as well as during the day. If the person in your care is unable to sleep, chances are you will be unable to sleep as well.Regardless of the cause, your lack of sleep has consequences for you and for the person in your care. These are some of the common consequences:Your overall physical health may change. Your body may not be able to fight off acold or flu as usual, or you may experience flare-ups of an existing health problem, such as high blood pressure.