Numerous studies have demonstrated that the mental impairment of someone with extreme sleep deprivation is equal to the mental impairment of someone who is legally drunk. Without sleep, a person’s body doesn’t have a way to recharge and revitalize. Organs and systems are forced to work when they should be resting. This gives the body no time to heal itself in preparation for its next work period. Due to stress and other factors, many family caregivers struggle with getting a healthy, restful night’s sleep, which can lead to potentially harmful situations when caring for an elderly or disabled loved one.
Constant stress on the mind and body affects one’s overall health and well-being, resulting in pretty devastating consequences, some of which include:
- Poor concentration
- Inability to perform tasks or process information easily and quickly
- Decreased perceptual skills
- Increased risk of coronary heart disease and other major illnesses
- Decreased muscle strength
- Disruption of insulin production and sugar metabolism, increasing risk of diabetes
- Weakened immune system
If you are a family caregiver experiencing the potentially dangerous symptoms of sleep deprivation, in-home care agencies like Visiting Angels of the San Francisco Bay area offer respite care services that can help. To find out more about respite care, contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977.