In my new book “The Power of 5: The Ultimate Formula for Longevity & Remaining Youthful,” I talk about the importance of sleep as part of my formula to remain youthful for those in their thirties, forties and fifties.
November was National Family Caregivers Month, and when I think about my patients who have recently moved in with their children, I worry about them getting enough sleep with this “new normal”. Becoming a caregiver while managing your own children or career can turn lives upside down and create a situation where sleep may suffer.
We’re already seeing the effects of sleep deprivation in our fast-paced, overworked and stressed society. Men and women, even teenagers, are attached to their tablets and smartphones, keeping them by their bedside and checking their text messages day and night. Quick fix sleeping pills are being shopped around online and on drugstore shelves promising the slumber you seek. In reality, sleep deprivation can eventually lead to more serious conditions like heart disease, hypertension, Type-2 diabetes, mood disorders, and more.
In the sleep chapter of my book, I focus on the various types of sleep deprivation, the conditions associated with it, and ways we can change our habits and refocus our efforts to create a restful and relaxing environment. Becoming a caregiver will greatly affect your normal routine, and while your new role is to care for your loved one, you need to remember to care for yourself too.
Here’s a peek at one of my suggestions for a better night’s sleep:
Disengage From the Outside World
An hour before bedtime, begin your new routine. Take a shower, read a book, but most importantly, stay off your devices. Put away the laptop, tablet, smartphone, even turn off the television. Decompress your mind and body and focus your energy on YOU. Don’t expect to watch a dramatic thriller, check your work email, or read something aggravating on social media and think you’re going to turn the lights off and drift to sleep so easily.