Carers often go short of sleep – either because the person they care for needs attention during the night or because they have too much on their minds to be able to relax. If you have trouble sleeping, try some of the following:
- If you have trouble getting to sleep, don’t go to bed too early.
- Don’t snooze during the day unless you know you are going to be kept awake at night.
- Establish a good bedtime routine. Avoid alcohol, have a warm drink and a bath and make sure the bedroom isn’t overheated.
- If you like to read before going to sleep, choose something soothing. If you like to listen to the radio, play some music rather than listen to the late-night news.
- After you switch out the light, try some visualisation techniques to occupy your mind. For instance, imagine an idyllic beach scene. The sun is warm, the sea is blue, you can feel the sand on your bare feet.
- If you wake in the night and find your head is full of worries, try spending an hour or so out of bed, or sitting up with the light on if you sleep alone. You can read, do the ironing, watch television or write down everything that’s on your mind. You’ll find these are preferable to tossing and turning in the dark.