How Caregivers Take Care of Themselves [Insider Story]
But before they can help others, it’s critical that they help themselves, maintaining their own health and wellness. We spoke to a few of them around the country to learn more about how they do that.
For Dr. Cedric Dupont, an anesthesiologist, a key to his success is adapting to an unpredictable schedule. He might be on call all night but never end up doing anything, or he could be working for hours. “Putting other people to sleep is not necessarily good for my own circadian rhythms,” he says, but when he’s on the job, he needs to be fully alert, no grogginess allowed. He maintains a regular exercise regimen, which helps him keep in shape and stay healthy, but, he says, “Sleep is really, really important for me.”
It’s a sentiment that Emergency Department RN Kelsey Benson echoes. Working twelve-hour shifts in a busy trauma center makes her body take a beating, she says, “from sitting to quickly standing to tend to a patient, to bending over to start an IV, or doing compressions while trying to save a life.” Kelsey says she loves “the way I’m able to impact people, patients and family, on one of the worst days of their lives,” but when she gets home from her shift at 3 .m., she’s sore from her back to her shoulders. “I have to get to sleep quickly so I can be ready to be back at work that night,” she says. “Sleep has always been an issue for me.”
Alertness is also a major concern for medical professionals, who have to be fully engaged and attuned to their patients. Telemetry technician Kelley Cernak works the overnight shift, monitoring patients’ heart rhythms. There’s plenty of coffee involved in keeping her alert, but she—like the doctors, nurses, and others we spoke to—emphasizes the importance of getting good sleep every night. With her Sleep Number bed, Kelley says, “I’m able to raise and lower the head or if my back hurts a little bit, I can adjust the firmness. I keep my room very dark so that no matter what my schedule is like, I can get right to sleep. I get off work at 6:30 in the morning, I’m home by about 7:00 or 7:15, and I’m generally able to be asleep by 7:45.”
For Cedric, proper sleep means Sleep Number, period. He and his wife, Catherine (who is also a doctor), got their first Sleep Number in 2001, when they were fresh out of medical school, and they’ve been fans ever since, upgrading to a bed with more features and even getting a Sleep Number bed for their guest bedroom. “The bed allows me to create the right environment,” Cedric says. “It allows me to control the firmness, the temperature, the position.”
Kelsey sums up the sentiments for those who count on Sleep Number to allow them to provide the best care for others: “It’s amazing how much of difference it makes!”
Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal well-being and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.