Is it normal to have frequent insomnia while caregiving? - AgingCare.com

Is it normal to have frequent insomnia while caregiving?

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I am caring for my aunt who had 2 strokes and recently, a broken hip. (I am a regular poster, so I won't go through the whole story). Lately, I have been waking up in the middle of the night and unable to return to sleep. I try to get to bed between 10 and 11:30, but now I wake up like at 2 or 3 a.m. and can't sleep. Aunty is still in rehab until this Saturday. In the past, she would call me out of bed in the middle of the night to either turn the heat on or off if she was too cool or too warm. Then after I took care of her, I couldn't get back to sleep. Do you think that this problem is stress-related? I sometimes take Tylenol PM pills for sleep, but I don't like depending on pills since I already take other meds.Any advice?

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Sleep problems are rampant these days, but I think caregivers may have even more problems than the average person. We never know when we have to spring into action so it's hard to totally let go and relax into sleep.

Ideally, exercise as suggested would be the best answer. Meditation can help, as well. Clearing our minds is tough but exercise and meditation can go a long way toward doing that.

There are some natural sleep remedies available that don't have the dependency or side effect issues of many prescriptions but it's best to clear that with your doctor if you take any other medications or have health issues.

It's recommended that we stay away from computer and smart phone light for several hours before sleep, too. I'm a reader so that works for me but I know that prying our eyes off the computer can be tough - especially when time alone is at a premium.

Keep the ideas coming! This is a huge issue across the board.
Carol
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Yes! For the first time in my life I asked my doc. He gave me a very small dose of xanax. Just enough to help me relax and fall back to sleep. No harm in asking to see if it can be added to your other meds.
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I wake too at that time on occasion. I think the added stress of caregiving and anticipation of her coming home can create insomnia and restlessness. I get up and have a glass of milk and go back to bed. I try not to think of things and clear my mind using imagery. I imagine a little stream with trees and flowers with birds singing, a peaceful place. I sometimes use nature cd's which help me to go back to sleep. Sometimes we have to tell ourselves that things will work out, we can do this & it'll be ok. So what if your aunt doesn't get a bath at exactly 10am or if you don't get the laundry in right away. During the day if you do some sort of exercise, running the vacuum, a short walk, weeding your flowers etc will aid in sleeping well. I sometimes do chair exercises and that helps to. Caregiving isn't an easy task, but adding some exercise on top of your caregiving duties should help. You need to take care of yourself or you won't be able to care for anyone else. I take care of my dad, so as a caregiver I've learned not to get 'stressed' out over things, it takes practice but I have less stress not.
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I was waking and worrying. DR prescribed small dose of Citalopram Celexa to relieve my anxiety and not make me sleep through call for assistance
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Yes, I find that frequently I wake 2-3 PM and cannot go back to sleep - turning a problem related to the mother I care for over and over in my mind. Sometimes I take non-prescription sleep aids. Some time I drink milk and eat cheese. Last night I got up and wrote on a book I am working on for about one hour. Didn't help me go back to sleep but made me a lot happier.
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Exercise, walk 3 miles a day, or do an exercise tape, zumba or dance. Your sleep will be effortless, deep, and easy. Plus you will feel better about yourself.
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I would wake up at 2am frequently. A bowl of milk and cereal helped me go back to sleep. Sometimes low blood sugar disturbs sleep, but a little milk will solve that.
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Yes, it is frequent. DH hasnt been able to sleep since dad come four years ago. But now that Dad died a week ago, DH is sleeping more.
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With all that we are going through, it is normal to wake up and sometimes not be able to go to sleep. This usually happens when I start thinking and worrying. I have made a rule with myself that when this starts to happen I tell myself I am not going to worry in my bed but will address my worries at 8 am the next morning after at least one cup of coffee!
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Sometimes I will fall asleep in my recliner, next to my husband. We will go to bed, then I either cannot fall asleep or will sleep a couple of hours, then wake up with restless legs, my mind racing, etc. This goes on for an hour or two, then I go back to bed and fall asleep. I'm always up around 4 a.m. in order to have some "me" time before he and the dog are needing attention. It's a great life!
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