Losing someone you love is such an intense experience. So, it makes sense that grief leaves you finding it difficult to fall asleep. While these issues are common, a lack of sleep can actually make it harder to process your feelings and deal with the steps needed to overcome this loss. If you have recently lost a spouse, a parent, a friend or even a pet, you may need some help overcoming your pain and overcoming your sleep problems. Here are a few simple ways you can get better sleep when you are bereaved. Get Outside and Get Some Exercise You may not feel like going to the gym when you are going through grief. However, if you are having trouble sleeping, that lack of exercise could be partially to blame. People who get little to no exercise typically have a tougher time falling asleep, especially when compared to those who engage in high-intensity workouts like running, biking, or Crossfit. Getting back to getting regular exercise is one of the ways you can build better sleeping patterns. If a run and an intense workout are not something you are up for yet, you can still get the exercise that can help you sleep. Start simple with some gentle yoga poses for a walk around your neighborhood.
Create Comfort in Your Bedroom As you process your loss, take some time to create a space of respite in your bedroom. If you shared your room with your partner, try some simple changes to help you get more sleep. You can paint your walls in soothing colors, change out light bulbs for warmer options, or add some soft new bedding. If you’re sleeping on an old mattress, you may think about switching that out too. It may sound strange, but a new bed can add some closure to your life and help you heal after losing your love. Consider your sleep position, size of room, and support needs when shopping. Buying a bed online may your best option, with low prices, easy setup, and simple trial periods to help you find the best mattress without a lot of stress or fuss.
Ask for Help When You Need It The loss of any loved one is hard to deal with, but the loss of a spouse can be especially challenging. First, you have to know that grief is not something you are expected to get over, but you should be able to sleep, eat, and feel more normal after some time has passed. You may still feel those waves of intense feelings and pain; however, if your grief becomes something more, you should seek out help. Grief can easily slide into depression and lead to addiction as well. It may seem like drugs and alcohol will help you sleep and put your mind at ease, but these should be avoided when you are processing grief, and especially before bedtime. If you do turn to drugs or alcohol, make sure you know the signs that you may need help.
Adjust Your Nighttime Routines Before your loss, you may have been sleeping just fine. Grief has a way of changing the way you think, feel and act, however, and so you may need to make some changes to your habits to help you get sleep. Avoid sleep sabotage by avoiding screens, caffeine, and certain foods before you get into bed. If sleep is still difficult to come by, you may be tempted to buy sleep enhancers and gadgets. Just make sure you only spend your money on smart sleep devices that actually work. If you have children, gadgets like the Suzy Snooze Sleep Companion can help your entire family get better sleep. FitSleep may be a good buy if falling asleep is your problem, since it emits comforting waves to encourage deep, restful slumber. As you work through your grief, you don’t have to smile and you don’t have to rush through the process. However, you do need to sleep to keep yourself healthy. Use these tips, reach out for help, and try to get through each day until you find yourself able to breathe again.