How To Get Better Sleep When You Experience Grief

This article was written exclusively for our Castle Living readers by our friend Sheila Olson of ‘FitSheila’

As our loved ones age and advance into their senior years, the reality of their mortality begins to sink in.

Losing a loved one is never easy. Loss affects all aspects of your life, including sleep, and typically time is the only thing that can help you feel better. But, if you are losing sleep due to your loss, you shouldn’t waste any time. You need sleep to stay healthy, so keep these sleep tips in mind.

Understand Grieving is Different for Everyone

Grief has a funny way of interfering with your ability to do even the most basic tasks—and that includes sleeping. When we lose the people we love, we are often filled with anxiety, regrets, and worries. You may be worried about finances, or anxious about sleeping alone after losing a spouse. Grief can be just as individualistic as fingerprints, so allow yourself time to process whatever feelings you may have. If you need to sleep more, that’s okay, and if you can only get a bit of sleep at first, that’s okay too. But, it still helps to take steps to make it easier to relax and get the rest you need to heal. Avoid turning to alcohol for better sleep, as well as other harmful activities. Try to focus on positive rest and relaxation methods instead.

Think About Bringing Balance to Your Room

 Your bedroom should be a haven from the rest of the world. When you once shared your bedroom with a loved one who has passed, however, your bedroom can feel more like a ball of confusing emotions. If you’re at a loss on how to change your room, consider that many people find comfort in bringing Feng Shui into their homes to create harmony and balance. Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese philosophy, focuses on creating layouts that invite positive energies into the home, while helping to usher the negative ones out. You can easily find books on the topic, but hiring a Feng Shui consultant can help you pull relaxing energy back into your bedroom, and allow you to get better sleep. Just be sure if you opt to spend the money that you get someone who is truly a Feng Shui consultant and not a fraud or just an interior designer.

Add Comforts That Help You Sleep Better

When you are mourning the loss of someone you love, you need a little extra comfort to help you cope. In your bedroom, that may mean buying a new mattress to help you sleep more soundly. When you are wondering which mattress is right for you, you should keep in mind your sleep position to help decide on what kind of support you need, but you should also think about your age and stage of life. If you are middle-aged or a senior, you may want to look for a bed that offers firm support to take pressure off your joints and minimize any tossing and turning.

Specialty lamps that use light to help you drift off peacefully and wake up refreshed can be a welcomed comfort for those in mourning. Helpful sleep gadgets can also be a saving grace when you are trying to get more sleep during difficult times, but be careful to avoid gimmicks that are a waste of money and don’t do anything to promote rest.

Force Yourself to Practice Some Self-Care

In grief, you may have to remind yourself to breathe, so self-care can seem like an impossibility. The thing is, though, you have to practice at least a little bit of basic self-care in order to allow yourself to heal. To help you sleep, you also need self-care like exercise, healthy foods, and relaxation. Try to get in a little activity every day in order to sleep better. Go for a walk or practice a short yoga session. You should also take care with what you eat. Certain comfort foods like ice cream and chocolate can actually wreck your sleep cycle. Finally, try to work some relaxation practices into your bedtime routine, instead of disruptive habits. A short meditation will do more for your sleep than staring at screens, so choose your bedtime activities wisely.

Losing a loved one can take a toll on your mind and body—you shouldn’t let it take a toll on your sleep. Allow yourself time to grieve, but know that rest can be key to helping your mind process your grief and help you to eventually move on. Make sleep a priority.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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