I used to think I knew what it was like to be tired; after all, my first child, Gina, did not sleep for six hours straight until she was two-and-a-half. Then I had my second little beauty, Tanya, who decided to beat her sister by going without a full night’s sleep for four-and-a-half years!
When Tanya was less than a year old their father, Steve, had a severe stroke and the little bits of sleep I had been grabbing became a faded memory. In fact, everything was pretty much fading. I could hardly remember what I was doing from moment to moment.
I thought it would be a good idea to write things down. At the end of each day, I would find the same notes in several different pockets. It reached a point when I was driving to the hospital and saw the road change shape and float up towards me. I realised that it was time to try to get some sleep!
When you become a carer people are full of good advice: “sleep well”, “eat healthily”, “take some time for yourself” and I used to reflect on this advice as I took my shower at 2am while listening out for a big or a little voice calling for my help. It is easy to be aware that these things are important; it is not so easy to do something about them.
In this issue, we look at some of reasons why sleep has to be a high priority and how it may be possible to get some much needed rest.
Author: Aviva Cohen
Caring without sleep
How sleep loss can affect caregivers
By Paul Cantwell
Quit caffeine, beat headaches and exhaustion read more
Interview with Sleep Disorders Clinic
Interview with Deirdre McSwiney, Chief Technologist, Mater Private Hospital read more
Who’s Here To Help
The Carers Association aim to provide family carers with emotional and practical supports. read more
Research & Hope
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to produce a healing effect read more
I Wish Someone Had Told Me
“The doctors ran some tests for different diseases like heart, cancer, sickle cell and more.” read more
You Couldn’t Make This Up
“My mother, Bunny, was a magnet. Think the Statue of Liberty. She attracted the poor, downtrodden and dispossessed…” read more
Easy, healthy Recipes
A selection of easy-to-prepare recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner read more