By Brittany Cordeiro
Sleep is essential to life.
But restless nights are all too common for cancer caregivers, who may be experiencing stress or caring for a loved one who is also suffering from disrupted sleep.
"Sleep deprivation negatively affects a person's health and quality of life," says Diwakar Balachandran, M.D., MD Anderson Sleep Center medical director. It can cause moodiness, memory troubles and problems focusing. Chronic sleep loss also may lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. As a caregiver, it's important to get enough sleep so you can care for your loved ones. A healthy lifestyle and simple behavior changes can do the trick. Balachandran answered some common questions on getting a better night's rest.How do you know if you are getting adequate sleep?
Ask yourself: "Do I feel rested when I awake?" And, "Do I feel alert during the day until it's time to go to bed?" If the answers to both questions are yes, you're probably getting enough sleep.