10 Sleeping Tips for Your Partner With a Neurological Disorder
Sleeping may be a difficult task for people with neurological disorders.
Living with a partner with a neurological disorder disrupts one’s everyday life. What once was an easy task, such as sleeping, can be a difficult ordeal for people with these illnesses.
Neural disorders range from relatively common ones like migraines to Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Sleep for a person with a neurological disorder may mean disrupted sleep, seizures in the middle of the night, and risk of physical harm in the bedroom.
For example, people with Alzheimer’s have trouble sleeping or resting.
One thing that can make sleeping easier for a partner with a neurological disorder is for their partners or spouses to help them through the process.
Seeking tips for better sleep for helping your spouse with a neurological disorder?
Here are 10 sleeping tips to help a partner with a neurological disorder.
1. Maintain regular sleep schedules
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Chronic sleep disorder or troubled sleep is common for people with neural disorders. One thing that can help them is to maintain regular bedtimes.
Teaching their bodies that at a specific time, they are supposed to sleep will make sleeping easier. Once the clock strikes bedtime, their bodies will naturally feel like they need to rest.
2. Get some sunshine
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Exposure to daylight also helps in tuning one’s circadian rhythm, which in turn contributes to good sleep.
Getting some good ol’ sunshine helps in producing melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. The body produces less melatonin when it’s bright out, and more when it’s dark.
Stepping out for a little bit of sunshine during the day can help your partner’s body adapt to a better sleep cycle.
3. Ensure comfort and accessibility
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As the range of neural disorders is vast, there are varying considerations when it comes to sleep. Those with risks of seizures have different needs compared to others.
But comfort is common, and accessibility is the common denominator.
For helping a spouse with a neurological disorder, make sure that the bed is lined with comfortable pillows and sheets.
The temperature in the room should also be comfortably cool, and not too hot. If your partner needs assistance when standing or sitting up, it’s best to have bed railings.
4. Limit activity before bed
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Limiting activity before sleeping is also a good way to ensure better rest time for someone with a neural disorder. This includes curbing physical activity, turning off the TV, and putting down phones or tablets an hour before sleeping.
This can help slow the body down and prepare it for rest.
5. Practice a calming routine before bedtime
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Aside from curbing activity before bed, you can also encourage your partner to have a calming bedtime routine. Examples of this are drinking tea, reading a book, or stretching.
The routine you both choose will depend on your partner’s mobility. Pick something that they can easily do without the risk of them being frustrated when they fail. The important thing is they feel at peace moments before hitting the hay to encourage better sleep.
6. Take out possible hazard risks in the room
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Your partner with a neurological disorder may have seizures, bouts of sleepwalking, and sudden awakening. People with dementia may wake up confused, disoriented, and panicked.
This may cause reckless actions that can hurt both of you.
Inspect your room for possible harmful objects like weapons, sharp items, or medication to avoid this. You should also make sure that the room is arranged so that your partner cannot hurt themselves with their surroundings in the event of an episode.
7. Consider emergency alarms
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Speaking of possible risks, people who have seizure attacks or those who tend to wander pose a great risk to themselves.
You can also have alarms placed if your partner needs assistance in opening doors or going to the bathroom. If this is the case with your partner, one thing you could do is set up emergency alarms around the house.
Emergency alarms include anti-wandering systems that alert you when your partner is trying to open a door. They also include smartwatches and beds that detect abnormal shaking or seizure movements, mainly used for people with epilepsy.
8. Install locks
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Another thing you can do to protect a wandering partner is installing locks on the bedroom door.
These may include putting childproof knob covers or placing a lock at a height your partner with a neurological disorder won’t reach. But you have to make sure that the lock you install won’t be a difficult one to open in cases or situations like medical emergencies, fire or earthquakes occur.
9. Don’t stay in the bed when your partner awakens
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When your partner with a neurological disorder wakes you up because they’ve woken up and can’t go back to sleep, lead them away from the bedroom. The bedroom and the bed are supposed to be spaces meant for rest.
When your partner has trouble going back to sleep, it’s best that you take them out of the room to lull them back down to a resting state.
Stress shouldn’t be associated with the bedroom. Try practicing your calming bedtime routine in the living room or in the kitchen until your partner feels sleepy again. It can also help to talk over what woke your partner up and how you could ease their anxieties.
10. Keep a phone close by
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Living with a partner with a neurological disorder should require you to have your phone at arm’s length all the time. Emergencies can occur at any time; in the case of some people, seizures and wandering happen mostly at night.
If something goes wrong and you are unable to handle it alone, it’s best that you have your phone ready so you can call for assistance.
Having a partner with a neurological disorder takes a lot of learning, patience, and understanding. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with it.
The video below discusses the symptoms of a neurological disorder. The insightful video details when it is important to visit a doctor for the cure. Take a look:
The tips mentioned above are just some of the things you can do to make it easier. If you’re still having trouble grasping what you can do for your partner, you should consult a professional to help guide you through the process.
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