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What the Caregiver Needs to Know - Sleep

As caregivers, we can become so involved in the daily routine and activities needed to care for a loved one or the significant others in our lives that we may often ignore our own needs for weeks or months.

One of the basic health needs that we may ignore for a long time is sleep. When others depend on us for care throughout the day and night, we can easily forget that sleep is a very important need for us. Sleep allows us to think and concentrate better, solve problems more easily, and cope with daily stresses. Sleep is necessary for our brains to create memories, and help us learn. Sleep also allows our bodies to heal better and to resist illness more readily. We now know from studies that people who do not get enough good, sound sleep every night are at risk for illnesses that include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and depression.

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are ways for you to get help and begin to feel better! The following information provides simple ways to help you get a good night's sleep. These links have helpful tips on how to fall asleep easier, stay asleep longer and avoid waking up too early.

Your Guide To Healthy Sleep (NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) (PDF)

A Good Night's Sleep (NIH, National Institute on Aging)


Reviewed/Updated Date: January 2012
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsors: Karen M. Ott
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Dr. Dana R. Epstein, Dr. Gail Powell-Cope, Dr. Joseph V. Agostini, Dr. Monica S. Horton
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Eileen Canzonetti, Karen M. Ott, Patricia Jost