Caregiver Sleep

5 Sleep Tips for Tired Caregivers

Lack of sleep will make you say and do things you regret. If worry and stress over caregiving are keeping you awake at night, try these ideas:

Do try over-the-counter sleep aids for a few nights to help you establish a better sleep cycle and get the rest you need. These often work as well as stronger sleep medicines available by prescription.

Do try a glass of warm milk, which contains an amino acid that releases relaxing serotonin -- it may lull you into a sleepy state.

Do try a bowl of oatmeal. You'll elevate your blood sugar in a way that triggers sleep-inducing brain chemicals while also getting a natural source of melatonin, which is often used as a natural sleep aid.

Do have a banana. The potassium and magnesium in bananas relax muscles and produce serotonin (associated with relaxation) and melatonin.

Don't count on that relaxing glass of wine or hot chocolate to do the trick. Alcohol can interfere with your ability to attain deep sleep, and hot cocoa contains caffeine.

See 5 foods that help you sleep.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio