Friday 13th March is World Sleep Day.
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to keep us physically and mentally well. After a good night’s sleep we are more prepared to face the challenges of the day ahead. Carers often don’t get enough sleep, financial worries and stress may keep carers awake at night or maybe the person that they care for needs help in the night and it breaks their sleep. Tiredness can then make the following day difficult, making everything seem so much harder and this can lead to stress.
Here are some tips to improve your sleep:
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortable – not too hot, cold or noisy.
- Try and keep to the same time that you go to bed and the same time to wake up.
- Wind down and relax before preparing for bed – try a warm bath, write to do lists to clear your mind, read a book, listen to relaxation music, avoid technology before bed.
- Try not to work or have your computer or TV in your bedroom.
- Get some regular exercise – swimming and walking are ideal – but try not to do this too near to bedtime as it may keep you awake.
- Take a look at your mattress. It should be firm enough to support you comfortably, but not so firm that you feel perched on top of it. You should try to replace your bed every 10 years so that it maintains maximum support and comfort.
- Try to cut down on caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks) in the evening up to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Try not to eat or drink a lot late at night – have your evening meal earlier if you can. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol. It may help you fall asleep, but makes you more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
- Keep a notepad by your bed so that if you are worried about something, you can write it down and be ready to deal with it the next day.
- If you still cannot sleep, try not to lie there worrying. Get up and do something you find relaxing like reading, watching TV or listening to quiet music. After a while you may feel tired enough to go to bed again.
- Complementary therapies such as massage or aromatherapy can be a good way to relax, lavender has relaxing properties or try putting fresh lemon by your bedside.
- If you are still having difficulty sleeping, talk to your GP.
How Birmingham Carers Hub can help
- Register for a Carer’s Assessment
- Reduce financial worries by talking to the hub team about what benefits you
may be entitled to
- Look at our events and group page to see what relaxation activities are available such as
free yoga, massage
- Put your mind at ease by registering for our CERS service (Carers Emergency Registered Service) so you can access free back-up support if you’re unable to care due to an emergency.