Getting a good night's rest can be challenging at the best of times, the holiday season being no exception. In order to be able to make the most of our days however, we need a good night's rest. This proves to be a challenge to many people, especially people living with dementia and their loved ones. The Sleep Kit is designed to combat this issue and help you on your journey to a good nights sleep!
I designed The Sleep Kit in university as part of an Aging and Health course in Gerontology where we were asked to create an innovative product that could help improve the lives of older adults. I found research that showed that social interaction could play a part in helping individuals who are living with dementia sleep better at night. People living with dementia can experience different kinds of sleep disturbances, such as an increase in daytime sleep, more nighttime awakenings or a decrease in REM sleep which is important for memory and mood. This has an affect on both care partners. As a result, the person living with dementia has a disrupted sleep, as well as their care partner, who will likely be attending to their needs during this time.
This idea was developed when I received a research grant from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation. 41 people in the Fredericton area (both community and long-term care settings) have now had the opportunity to use The Sleep Kit and record their experiences. This research is ongoing and the results thus far have been overwhelmingly positive.
The Sleep Kit is a response to these challenges. It’s designed to make the road to good rest a little smoother by providing the tools for a socially engaging, relaxing, bedtime routine. In a time where we are often surrounded by technological advancements, The Sleep Kit aims to take it back to the basics of human connection and meaningful engagement between care partners. The Sleep Kit gives care partners the time they need to relax and enjoy one another’s company at the end of a busy day, before they get a good night’s rest.
Giving the gift of sleep is invaluable – especially for those who are on their dementia journey. These individuals are already dealing with many changes, and a good night’s sleep is imperative to improve all aspects of their quality of life.
Please visit our website www.thesleepkit.org and contact us if you would like to learn more!