Promote sleep - Assisting a family member


Assisting a family member

Assisting a family member

Rest and sleep

The need to rest Alteration of sleep: the causes Promote sleep
  • The need to rest
  • Sleep disturbance: the causes
  • Promote sleep
    • Environmental variables
    • Some useful techniques

Promote sleep

The person who is struggling to sleep must receive a "re-educational" treatment that informs him about some basic precautions and strategies to promote night's sleep, instructing him on the behaviors to be acquired for a correct sleep hygiene. The main recommendations are as follows:

  • use the bed only for sleeping;
  • go to bed only when you are sleepy;
  • in case of insomnia, it is better to get up and engage in some relaxing activity;
  • getting up at the same time every morning helps restore a normal sleep-wake rhythm;
  • avoid naps during the day;
  • practicing regular exercise promotes sleep, provided it is not done too close to bedtime;
  • do not sleep during the day in case you spent the night awake;
  • do not overeat before bedtime;
  • avoid the use of tobacco and stimulants at least in the 6 hours before bedtime;
  • avoid performing demanding mental activities before falling asleep;
  • relax the muscles.

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Environmental variables

Environmental care is also essential for promoting sleep. The main measures to be taken to obtain an effective zeroing of environmental variables and to protect the sleep quality of those who need assistance are listed below.

  • Check that noises are absent, otherwise try to isolate the source of the noise.
  • Eliminate noisy clocks.
  • Caps can be a valuable aid as long as there is always someone in the house when the person sleeps;
  • Take care of the lighting: many people prefer to have a small light source placed at the bottom in the room, others instead report that they cannot sleep if there is also very little light.
  • The reduction of lighting during the night helps to maintain the normal sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Check the bed and its inclination, correctly position the mattress and the surface on which it rests.
  • A mattress that is too solid disturbs sleep because it forces the patient to turn around frequently.
  • Check that the temperature is adequate and the patient sufficiently covered.
  • Check body alignment so that the position is as comfortable as possible.
  • Many patients require changes of position during the night in order to prevent the onset of pressure sores, this intervention alters sleep and, since shifts must be made every two hours, it is clear that the night becomes very "short".
  • During the night, worries, anxiety and fears can become especially intense, as can the increase in psychomotor agitation in people with cognitive deficits or in the elderly. The dialogue with the patient and the willingness to listen can do much more than a drug.
  • If the subject is incontinent, it is important to check that it is dry before falling asleep and that it is promptly changed every time it evacuates.
  • Carry out a review of the patient's medications to verify that he does not take medications that stimulate the production of urine (diuretics) before bedtime; if this happens, it is useful to consult your doctor to find out if it is possible to anticipate them in the morning. Do not stop your medications without asking your doctor's advice first.
  • Some scientific studies have shown that the use of essential oils, diffused with special vaporizers in the environment, can promote sleep. The main essential oils used are those extracted from lavender and chamomile.
  • If the subject loves to listen to music, inform him that before bedtime it is not advisable to listen to it, especially if it is disco or rock music, as they tend to excite disturbing sleep.

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Some useful techniques

Relaxing massageCan be performed by anyone; it does not require a particular preparation as it consists in making simple and slow rubbing on the back.

This technique is widely used to promote relaxation and, consequently, sleep.

Foot massage can also be very effective, as long as it is performed lightly without point pressure on the plantar and back surfaces. Simple twisting and stretching movements of the fingers, touching and stroking can reconcile sleep.

The recommended procedure is carried out as follows.

  • Take care of the ambient temperature and guarantee privacy.
  • Wash your hands and warm them, cold stimuli are counterproductive.
  • Place the person in a prone position.
  • Free your back from clothing.
  • Do not perform the massage if the skin has diseases.
  • Use a massage lotion, in the pharmacy or herbal medicine are found without problems.
  • Pour the hand massage product.
  • Start with simple rotational movements made with the palm of the hand on the sacrum.
  • Climb with both hands towards the shoulder blades and making rotational movements also in these two areas.
  • Descend with your hands open towards the bottom of your back near the buttocks.
  • Make circular movements.
  • Repeat the massage a few times.
  • Provide a tank top previously heated on the radiator.
  • If possible, make the bed warm.

Music Therapy It is a form of alternative therapy that uses melody and sounds as a means of alleviating diseases, especially psychosomatic ones.

In recent years, some "evidence-based" nursing institutions have carried out research to evaluate the effectiveness of this tool in hospital and non-hospital settings. Since music therapy can help lower anxiety levels, it is believed that it can be used as a natural stimulus to also promote sleep. The most important aspect to underline is the absolute harmlessness to drugs, in addition to the cost which is zero. Music is often used together with classic therapies in pain control.

Anxiety is favorably affected by the effect of music, the type of melody used is called sedative music, being a type of slow, melodic, instrumental music, performed with piano or harp.

Listening to this type of music a few hours before bedtime helps to reconcile sleep.

Libraries offer a wide range of books with their melodies.

Visualization techniques are used with good results, in addition to conventional conventional therapies, in various areas: sport, business, anxiety management etc.

Visualization is a process used by all in a more or less conscious way.

Cultivating feelings of hatred and anger triggers an unconscious visualization process with relative stimulation of hormones that increase the degree of wakefulness, stimulate the production of gastric juices and make the muscles more toned. Even without wanting to, it always appears: thinking about the holiday just passed, predicting that an exam at school will go wrong or being afraid of going by plane means "visualizing".

If used for a few minutes every day, the visualization technique can produce good results in terms of relaxation, decrease of stress and management of emotional loads. Visualization allows you to create the conditions for desirable results in your mind.

When thoughts of defeat, self-destruction and inadequacy are cultivated for years, a kind of precise schedule is built in one's brain where the programs are always the same: fear, anxiety, defeat, loss, destruction; often the life we ‚Äč‚Äčlead summarizes our most deeply rooted beliefs. Probably, if you get to the point of having these thoughts and feeling so bad, the cause will be to be found in the experiences you had during your life, in the education given by the parents, in the "labels" imposed from an early age. These brief considerations are not intended to replace a path of psychoanalysis (which perhaps could be useful to anyone), but simply want to reflect on the need to cultivate healthier and healthier thoughts. The brain can be considered as a CD on which the individual records data every day and at any time, whether it is positive or negative.

A fundamental aspect of the visualization is the feeling of sitting in the "button room", in this way a process is implemented that promotes awareness of one's own person.

Writing down some short, medium, and long-term goals in a diary can help guide your journey. Planning your goals helps you understand where you are going. Do you want to be able to relax? Do you want to be more serene? Do you want to be able to overcome some of your limits? It is crucial to write everything down.

It is not necessary to take particular positions to view, the important thing is to relax, sit on an armchair or lie down. The more relaxed you are, the more you can "go deep", so it is good to find the most comfortable position and avoid all the stimuli that can interrupt the session (about 15-20 minutes a day). The use of musical backgrounds that recall the elements of nature (streams, wind, chirping) can increase the pleasant sensations that you want to recreate.

The visualization technique aims to:

  1. reinforce the feeling that what you want is achievable (greater relaxation);
  2. disintegrate the things that make you live badly (worries);
  3. consolidate the results that will be obtained over time.

When viewing it is essential to believe strongly that what you aspire to is achievable, you must feel this feeling intensely, "see" it with the eyes of the mind and cultivate it over time as emotions have a powerful effect on the "mechanics" of physiology Human. Another very important aspect is the destruction of what creates concern: fear of failing, fear of making a bad impression, fear of being laughed at, fear of speaking: fears have a devastating effect on human life. One technique for removing fears is the following: visualizing a fear, a concern, an unwelcome event and then closing it in a box, this process must be participated and well visualized. When the box is closed "shoot" it against the sun, here too it is important to "see" and "feel": to see that the box moves away with the relative fear and to feel it go away; when it becomes very small and is getting closer to the sun you must feel the sensation and "see" the box explode.

The third aspect is the replacement and consolidation of the result. After having "destroyed", one must immediately create in the mind the image of the situation one would like to achieve. Also in this case you have to hear and see: the more stimuli there are, the better, in fact, the use of sound, verbal and visual stimuli that help make the content of the visualization seem useful. This trivial technique can be used for all things that worry, even if it clearly does not solve the problems of human existence!

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