Since you’ve lost your loved one, the days and nights seem longer. And they are, in a sense.
It’s become more difficult to sleep as you toss and turn, thinking about memories of the past and wrestling with emotions of anger and sadness as the hours pass by slowly until the alarm finally calls you to action. Then you stumble through another day, bleary-eyed and longing for rest that never comes. That’s no way to carry on as you’re still among the living.
Your family, friends, and colleagues need you back, in form and full of energy. That’ll never happen unless you find a way to drift off into dreamland despite all that’s happened. There are ways to get the sleep you need if you’re willing to try something new. Here are a few suggestions.
Change the Bed
Comfort is crucial for quality sleep. And if your bed is past its prime and is lumpy and uncomfortable, now is the time to buy a new mattress. What’s more, you can opt for a mattress that suits your specific needs for firmness and support based on your sleeping style, and all without even leaving your home. These days you can save money and time by going online to find the perfect platform for slumber, and it can all be delivered and installed as part of the service so you don’t have to lift a finger.
Look Into Technology
Many people who suffer from insomnia find an easy solution in a humidifier. This simple device moisturizes the air to soothe skin and nasal passages while making it easier to breathe overall, particularly in the drier winter season. It can also deliver a low hum that blocks out distracting noise. Alternatively, an alarm clock that emits sleep-inducing light and sound could help you drift off even faster, but take care not to spend money on cheap sleep aid gimmicks with no scientific backing for their bold claims of efficacy.
Fix Your Diet
Having created an ideal sleeping environment, it’s time to delve into your lifestyle to eliminate problem behaviors that keep you from your rest, and that means primarily how you eat. There are numerous foods and beverages that should be avoided, particularly in the evening as bedtime draws near. Things to avoid include caffeine-rich coffee and chocolate as well as fatty pizza and burgers, which are likely to cause indigestion.
Get Enough Exercise
This does more than just keep your waistline trim but ensures a healthy sleep-wake cycle so you feel lively during the day and drowsy when it’s time to lay your head on the pillow. Not only that, studies show you’ll enjoy a higher quality of sleep, which is as important as the amount of sleep. Keep in mind too that exercise is an incredible tonic when it comes to managing grief. The endorphins you get from a workout can provide the extra boost you need right now.
That smartphone and tablet are nothing but trouble at the end of the day when you should be relaxing. These devices emit a steady stream of blue light that suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone essential to making you drowsy. There are better ways to pass the evening.
Keep a Journal
Putting your thoughts on paper has a therapeutic effect that relieves stress and brings about a state of calm before bedtime, according to Shape. That’s because you’re expelling what troubles you and finding solutions in planning tomorrow’s activities in your head. You can be deliberate in what you write or you can add a stream of conscious writing. Sometimes getting it on paper can be enough to quiet down your active brain.
According to a contributor to Thrive Global, this ancient Eastern practice proved its worth as a tactic for improving sleep during a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine in which participants who practiced mindfulness meditation reported less fatigue, insomnia or depression. Put this stress-relieving technique to work for you. All it takes is a quiet, distraction-free spot. If you’re new to meditation, look for guided apps or videos.
Read Yourself to Sleep
Once you’re curled up in the sheets, all you need is another six minutes with a book before you’re ready to drift off. That’s what Country Living says and they make some suggestions as to the literature you should tackle first.
Make It Routine
Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. That’ll ensure your good habit stays with you and you no longer have to worry about staying up too late anymore.
There is no timetable for grieving, but when it starts to affect your quality of life, it’s important to take steps to address the situation. Sleep is necessary for sorting through your emotions and getting to a point of acceptance. Give yourself the extra help you need for a good night’s rest.
Lydia Chan, Guest Author
Image via Pexels.
Disclaimer The opinions, information, and statements made within this article are those of the author alone and not of Heart ‘n Home Hospice. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions, or misrepresentations within this article. Heart ‘n Home Hospice is not liable for any damages resulting from our readers’ interpretations or actions when using the information from our website.