Night shifts are a polarizing thing for nurses. Some nurses love them, some nurses hate them, and others are simply paying their dues on the night shift until they can switch to the day shift. It’s a rite of passage for nurses; there’s a lot to learn at night in the hospital. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult parts of working the night shift is managing to get quality sleep during the day. Our brains are not programmed to sleep during the day and be awake at night. The circadian rhythm is our sleep/wake cycle; it controls the production of melatonin which makes us sleepy at night. The melatonin recedes during the day, allowing for awake time. Below you will find 6 tips to maximize your melatonin and get high-quality, restful sleep during the day.
1. Go easy on the caffeine. A good sleep starts well before your head hits the pillow. As hard as it is, stop your caffeine intake hours before the end of your shift. A study found that consuming caffeine six hours prior to bedtime can give you one less hour of sleep. Switch to water about halfway through your shift; chances are, you’re not getting enough water anyway.
2. Limit your exposure to blue light. Blue light refers to the light that comes from the sun that causes circulating melatonin levels to decrease, which is why you’re awake during the day and feel sleepy at night. Smartphones, TVs, and computer screens all emit blue light leading to decreased melatonin levels and difficulty sleeping. It’s impossible to avoid blue light completely with all the charting nurses do on computers. However, try to cut down exposure to other sources. When you leave work, be sure to wear quality sunglasses. Don’t spend any more time outside than absolutely necessary. Use the blue light filter on your smart phone so checking Facebook doesn’t keep you awake.
3. Invest in blackout curtains. Limiting sunlight is crucial to sleeping well for more than avoiding blue light. Psychologically, it’s easier to feel sleepy when it’s dark than when the sun is streaming through the windows. Blackout curtains will also block the sound of your neighbors mowing their grass in the middle of the day and keep it a little cooler as well.
4. White noise is good noise. There are a myriad of ways to get white noise in your bedroom. Fans, white noise machines, and special earbuds can go a long way towards blocking out the dog barking. Additionally, there are endless apps for your smartphone that can transport to the ocean, a mountain stream, or to the middle of a storm.
5. Keep your cool. Studies have shown that better sleep is attained when the ambient temperature is lower. Exposure to heat increases awake time. Crank down the thermostat, put up blackout curtains, and fire up your fan to optimize your sleeping environment.
6. Take a little help from the store. Another great option to help you get a good day’s sleep is medicine. A multitude of supplements including melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, and others are available over the counter to make you sleepy. If you’ve tried the drugstore route but are still struggling to get the sleep you need, speak with your primary care provider to get something stronger. It’s vital you get a good night’s sleep - your health and the lives of your patients depend on it.
Aaron Alstrom is the Director of Operations for HealthCare Pros a Nurse staffing and management company with 25 years of industry-specific knowledge, experience, and care. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and producing positive results for our clients. Direct (310) 350-6944
Whatever your politics are you need to be aware that the current version of the GOP Tax Bill includes a number of points that have Nothing to do with taxes.
Medicare Cuts and Repeal of Obamacare One will cut Medicare which is going to affect your aging loved ones and another includes a Repeal of Obamacare (that has already failed in the Senate because the American People said NO!)
Time is running short. These cuts will take place January 1, 2018 if this bill passes. Please call your Senators today and ask them to vote NO on this bill. It only take a couple of minutes and you'll probably get to leave a voicemail.
All you have to say is: " I'm [your name] and I'm your constituent in [Zip Code]. Please vote NO on the Tax Bill. Thank you."
Safety is one of the most important issues in all of our lives, but with our elderly family and loved ones, safety is an absolute priority. Even those over 65 years of age become more prone to falls as they age and if they've fallen once, the probability increases exponentially. Getting assistance quickly can be of the utmost urgency. Changes in balance and gait due to aches, pain, chronic illnesses etc., all affect the gait and safety and the predictability of a fall. Falls can be deadly!
Removing trip hazards from the home such as throw rugs is one of the first things any health professional will instruct you on. Clear and open pathways are essential. On the other hand, bear in mind that your loved one may actually need the clutter, the furniture and walls for support while leaving their cane or walker behind. Many thrive on the clutter to help stabilize them as the maneuver through their home from one room to another.
Observe How Mom Maneuvers with the Clutter So before you start clearing everything away, observe how they maneuver and see how you can make it a safer situation by reducing and rearranging. Work WITH them and be sure the remember the changes you have made. Encourage them to keep their cane or walker at their side always and use it instead of relying on furniture, walls and piles of newspapers for support.
Have a System in Place If your loved one does fall, having a reliable device available to summon help quickly if they are alone will not only help give you peace of mind, but improve their odds for a quick and healthy recovery. There are a variety of devices and services available and you should investigate them thoroughly to find the one that fits your finances and needs.
A new system from MobileHelp.com offers several options for medical alert. One of the best options is that it does not require a landline phone system for operation. This is optimum as we are moving away from being tethered to landlines.
The MobileHelp.com system also offers the ability to travel with the user either as they leave the home for a walk, shopping etc. or even to travel. The system utilizes GPS tracking services and cellular services. No contracts are required. They come with a waterproof pendant or a wristwatch.
Remember, no device can replace a caregiver! Make sure you have the appropriate level of care in place for your loved ones and utilize these devices as directed.
Who watches over the watchmen; who cares for the caregivers? In as so much that caregivers (especially spousal caregivers) are essential for the majority of baby boomers entering the retirement phase of their lives, some much-needed care and respect are crucial for these individuals to see the value of their efforts and sacrifices. After all, spousal caregivers tend to give more (and lose more) for their partners – their personal time, work opportunities, and even relationships with friends and family are all at risk.
As such, we’d like to list down several ways on how spousal caregivers can get through the darkest days of their lives. If you are one, take heart and know that there are people who care for everything you’ve done, are doing, and will do in the future. If you know one or are a care recipient, these tips may also help you acknowledge and assist you in allowing your spouse to have a better experience looking after you.
Acknowledge that You Need a Break According to “Families Caring for an Aging America,” a report published last year by The National Academies Press, spouses make up approximately 21.5% of all caregivers looking after a family member in need of care during the golden years. As primary caregivers, same-generation spouses are also at risk of age-related (physical and cognitive) conditions.
It’s a conundrum – as recipients age and care demands increase, spousal caregivers are also exposed to health and emotional problems that’ll prove to be detrimental to their well-being. And this is why caregivers need to be aware and accept that they need and deserve a break. Caregiver stress is real – and if not addressed properly, may not only lead to lackluster custodial services, but a blow to one’s personal health and well-being as well.
You’re only human, after all. You need that break – please go and grab the chance for some R&R!
Connect with Others The University of Exeter recently conducted a study on loneliness experienced by spousal caregivers. As determined by the researchers, caregiving can be a rewarding activity, yet mental and physical health is also at risk with of the loss of contact with other people. Additionally, and particularly for same-generation spousal caregivers, social isolation may soon seep into one’s life, which may result in anxiety or depression.
Spousal caregivers, aside from taking a break, also need to keep in touch with friends and families. Having an active emotional connection with peers will not only improve one’s emotional state – support in the form of learning retirement solutions, the latest trends in custodial care, or even self-care tips can be gained from simply talking with friends.
A Worthwhile Hobby will Matter Additionally, pursuing a hobby will help spousal caregivers get over the pain or frustration that they may feel when accomplishing their custodial tasks. Think of this as a welcome, yet productive, escape from everyday life. For an even more practical hobby, consider gardening, learning a new skill (such as coding/computer literacy/arts & crafts), and even cooking as a way to connect your passion with your care recipient. Who knows, what makes you happy may also be a good opportunity to bond with your loved one!
Aside from these tips, we’d like to point spousal caregivers towards a helpful list of resources compiled by CBS Pittsburgh. The list will assist caregivers with any of their additional concerns on how to both properly stay functional and happy when looking after their loved ones.
Author Bio: As the Online Content Director of FreeMedSuppQuotes.com, Leandro Mueller aims to push for awareness and promotion of the many benefits of Medigap insurance plans in the market. He hopes that his work will help boomers and retirement industry experts alike in their lives. He hopes that his work will lead people in applying for the best Medigap plan that will suit their needs and preferences.
As a general rule, I don't place Infographics, but this one comes from a vetted source, and is full of great information. Enjoy... (It takes a few seconds to load, and you have to do some scrolling side to side as well as up and down.)