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Top tips for getting a good night’s sleep

We all know that sleep is important but for many of us, getting a good night's sleep can be easier ‘said’ than ‘done’. Carers in the Mobilise community have joined us on a cuppa and social media to tell us what they do to help them get the sleep they need. 

Illustration of two friends in a bedroom at night time.

Setting ourselves up for a good night's sleep

In the Mobilise community, we talked about the importance of setting up the room as part of a nightly routine. When we opened this up for discussion in our cuppa, carers shared what they do to set up their room, which includes;

  • Making sure the room is cool and dark

  • Putting phones away

  • Removing or reducing any noise 

Some people have also found things which help them get comfortable in bed which include;

  • Lavender spray

  • Fresh bedding

  • Pillows

  • Weighted blankets

  • A wheat bag or hot water bottle

For all sorts of reasons, sometimes it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep in our own bed. During our discussions, we found out that some people move into another room if they struggle to sleep. We also heard that some people have a bad nights sleep due to the demands of their caring roles and their solutions included;

  • Where possible, planning an overnight stay somewhere else 

  • Have someone else come in to take over the caring role during the night so that we can switch off.

Getting to sleep

Whether we plan it or it happens by chance, we have found that many of us have developed our own routines and rituals that prepare us for bed. A popular one in the Mobilise Community is listening to podcasts! If you’re looking for a new podcast, why not check out our Who Cares Wins Podcast, hosted by James!

The full list of activities included;

  • Listening to podcasts (as mentioned above)

  • Listening to music

  • Breathing exercises

  • Unwinding and relaxation techniques such as Tai Chi

  • Reading a book

  • Journaling or writing down thoughts

Carmen Cooper, Wellbeing Facilitator at BANES Carers Centre, has put together a simple video with some great tips for switching off and getting a better night’s sleep. From gentle exercises we can try, to having dinner three hours before our bedtime to help with digestion.

Having a good night's sleep

Do you struggle to get to sleep? Do you know why? 

Some of us have found that we actually have barriers that prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep. Taking medication at the wrong time, having a nap during the day, or being overtired are just some of the reasons our community have shared with us.

Caring itself can make us feel constantly tired not just physically but mentally. The most important thing is to be able to identify our barriers to find ways to overcome them. 

Barriers might include;

  • Not being able to switch off

  • Anxiousness or worry

  • External noises

  • Not feeling tired/feeling too tired but can't sleep

  • Not having a regular sleep pattern

  • Having caffeine before bed

  • Caring responsibilities mean that we need to get up in the night

Now, there isn’t one method or technique to help us to overcome these barriers. But knowing that there is a barrier can help reduce frustrations. In our guide, we also explain 10 reasons why we might be exhausted all the time.

Plus, if there is a solution, this can be added to our usual nightly routine. For example, keeping a notepad by the bed for the late-night thoughts or setting a specific time to be in bed (even if not asleep) to help establish a sleeping pattern are just two of the ways us can overcome the barriers identified above. We might find that we develop our own solutions too. 

No two people are the same and so we can’t all have the same bedtime routine. However, it might be worth trying some of these and finding out what works for you.

And of course - there are sometimes those times when our caring role means we have to stay awake! Here's our carer community sharing their tips on keeping your eyelids open!

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