Caregivers At Risk for Weight Gain

Catching some Z’s can help keep the pounds off

1. Create an evening schedule that gives you at least a half hour of downtime before retiring. If possible, change your loved one's schedule by getting him/her ready for bed earlier and encouraging some personal quiet time in his/her room prior to normal bedtime.

2. Work out a schedule with another family member to take over caregiving duties after dinner, so you have some free time and can wind down before bed.

3. Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day. It may seem impossible at first, but developing a sleep routine for you and your loved one is important to your health.

4. Make sure your bedroom is conducive to good sleep: Use room-darkening blinds, keep pets off the bed and out of the bedroom, turn off the bedroom phone ringer, avoid caffeinated drinks after 5 p.m., don't read or watch television in bed, limit daily alcohol intake to one glass for women and two for men, and exercise whenever possible (it's the best remedy for improving your quality of sleep).

5. If you can't resolve your sleeplessness, talk with your doctor. Sometimes underlying health conditions — in addition to your demanding caregiving responsibilities — can interrupt your sleep. Your doctor can evaluate your health status, as well as discuss other strategies to help you get the rest you need.

This article was previously published by Johnson & Johnson.

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