Sleeping well is essential for bringing your A-game, and that’s just what you need to be a super carer.

Poor sleep can lead to an array of nasty side effects, not least burn out. We don’t want you to have to deal with that, and as ever, prevention is better than cure.

Sleep is a great factor in helping you cope with your day to day duties. Sadly, we live in a world where there is always more to do and we cut down on sleep to make room for a little more life or work.

A lack of sleep can cause poor decision making, it can affect your emotions, give you memory problems and even more seriously than that, over a prolonged period of time, it can lead to more life-threatening conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Good sleep, on the other hand, can provide a wealth of positive effects such as a stronger immune system, a slimmer waistline and better mental health.

Here are a few tips on getting more and better sleep.

  1. Aim for 8 hours a night

Some people need a bit more than this, while others struggle to sleep beyond seven hours. Generally speaking, sleep experts suggest eight hours as the optimal amount of time for most adults. Don’t skimp on sleep just to get a bit more done. Also, beware of Netflix. If you find your Netflix habit interfering with your sleep routine, check out point 2.

  1. Detox from digital devices

Banish the electronics from your room. Try not looking at your phone for about an hour before you go to bed so the blue light from the screen doesn’t interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm. Also, being constantly available to receive messages and social media notifications can overstimulate your mind or stress you out, so if you can, leave your mobile phone outside of your bedroom.

  1. Be careful what you eat before bed

Don’t eat junk food before you go to sleep, but having a snack is not a bad idea to keep you feeling satiated and your blood sugar levels stable. Stick to foods that help you snooze, such as bananas, almonds, turkey, walnuts, rice or even fish.

  1. Keep your room a relaxation zone

Your room should be a sanctuary. Why would you want to spoil that oasis of calm by having your laptop in there or a big pile of paperwork?

Having a TV in your bedroom could also be a distraction from getting enough sleep, but that is for you to decide, since TV may be your chosen method of relaxation.

  1. Do something relaxing before bedtime

Have a bath, shower or light a candle before bedtime. Use aromatherapy oils if you wish, or listen to some calming music. Be careful that what you do doesn’t stop you from getting ready to sleep.

  1. Can’t sleep? Don’t stress

The best sleep differs from person to person, so don’t worry too much if you can’t get off to sleep or if you wake up after only a few hours. Have a chamomile tea or a milky drink and find something to do that’s relaxing, not taxing. Whatever you do, don’t worry about not being able to sleep, as stress makes it a lot more problematic.

Remember, a good carer has to take good care of him/herself and that starts with getting your sleep right.