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

over 2 years ago, said...

I've started eating a banana befor bed and it really helps! Thank you all for this tip.

over 4 years ago, said...

I occasionally take prescription Flexerall. It's a muscle relaxant that didn't give me metal mouth, like Lunesta did. I really like it. It really relaxes me, but I have to take it by 6p, or I won't be able to wake up until 8a.

over 4 years ago, said...

I appreciate any helpful tips I can get. I'm exhausted every day.

almost 6 years ago, said...

Interesting re sleeping aids. I thought they should be prescription to work, as a couple I tried OTC did not work Can you give me any names ?

about 6 years ago, said...

Did not know about banans and warm milk giving off seratonin. Thanks