When Grief Interferes With Your Sleep
Losing someone you love can leave you feeling so many emotions. However, when your grief causes you to lose sleep, your mental and physical health can be put at risk, even in the long-term. So, how do you get enough sleep when you are drowning in grief? To cope with grief and capture more sleep, try working through these steps.
Take Some Deep Breaths
Grief can be so overwhelming. Losing a spouse, a parent, and especially a child after or during pregnancy, can make you feel like your life is spinning out of control. These extreme feelings of stress can make it more difficult to sleep, which puts even more pressure on your mental and physical health. When you are having a hard time relaxing, deep breathing is one of the fastest ways to put your mind at ease. Just make sure the air you are breathing in your bedroom is free of pollutants to keep allergies and asthma from affecting your health too. Air purifiers can promote cleaner air, which is especially helpful if someone in your house smokes. And while purifiers can remove airborne smoke particles and address odours, they cannot remove 100 percent of harmful particles from your home.
Go for a Morning Walk
Loss has a funny way of taking all of your energy. You may feel like even trivial tasks, like brushing your teeth or buying groceries, are impossible, so getting exercise is likely the last thing on your mind. However, studies show that a lack of exercise can make it harder for you to sleep well at night. Exercise is also key for energy, in addition to helping you sleep better. So, get out and try to get moving, no matter how hard it feels. Ask a friend or family member to go on a morning walk with you, or take some time to walk alone. A gentle yoga practice may also be effective in providing the exercise you need to stay healthy.
Treat Your Body Well
Depending on your reaction to grief, you may not feel like eating or you may want to eat everything. Junk and comfort food is fairly common after a deep emotional trauma, but it may not help you sleep. These foods may provide a bit of comfort, but healthier options will help you feel better in the long run and heal after loss. You can still have comfort foods, but try to adjust them to provide a little nourishment that you so desperately need. However you eat, be sure to avoid foods that will keep you up and make it harder to rest at night.
Consider Buying a New Bed
Shopping for a new mattress is not likely to be a top priority in this time of grief. If your mattress is old, worn, or even if it holds upsetting memories, you may want to replace it. Good sleep is essential for processing grief and keeping yourself strong, so make sure you get a mattress that will not make it harder to relax and sleep comfortably. Ask a friend or loved one to help you shop and use a mattress buying guide to make the process less stressful. This is also a good time to treat yourself to soft, soothing new bedding, and pillows to comfort your neck and head.
Know When You Need Help
Working through the stages of grief is a different experience for everyone. Being unable to sleep or relax for a while is normal. But when grief is robbing you of all of your sleep, it may be time to get some help. Talking to friends and going to support groups can be very helpful in processing grief. If you think your grief is becoming more of a depression, seek the help of a counsellor or therapist. When sleep is your only real issue, speak with your doctor about sleep aids that can help or look into smart sleep gadgets to enhance your sleep.
Taking care of yourself is the most important step in surviving a loss. Getting enough sleep is a simple self-care step you can take to keep your mind strong and your body healthy so you can make it to happier days again.
Guest Blog by Sara Bailey of http://thewidow.net/
Photo Credit: Pexels