6 Sleep Remedies to Help You Cope with Grief Insomnia


Difficulty sleeping is a very common experience when grieving. No matter how busy you are during the day or how tired you feel when your head hits the pillow, it's hard to keep your mind from running wild with thoughts about your lost loved one. Even if you fall asleep quickly, you may end up wide awake just hours later. This sleeplessness does not give your brain a chance to recover from the exhausting effects of grief and contributes to greater feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety. Fortunately, you might be able to improve your sleep by following a few of the simple strategies outlined here.


1. Redecorate Your Bedroom


After theloss of a spouse, the bedroom can feel like one of the saddest and loneliest places in your home. Try redoing the room so it's calming and comforting to you. This may involve removing all of your spouse’s things from the room and adding objects that help you feel at peace. Make sure the room is organized because clutter can contribute to feelings of unease. Additionally, Angie’s List recommends painting your walls in soothing colorslike light blues and earth tones.


2. Keep the Bedroom Cool and Comfortable


Did you know that when you fall asleep, your body temperature naturally drops? Helping your bodycool downin the evening can encourage quicker and deeper sleep. Programmable thermostats are wonderful for keeping your bedroom cooler during the night without wasting electricity running the AC all day. Additionally, invest in a good fan, a cooling pillow, or a gel memory foam mattress topper to whisk heat away from your body during the night. 


Adding a humidifier to your bedroom can also soothe your body and help you sleep more comfortably, particularly in the winter when the air is dry. Humidifiers add moisture to the air which promotes better airflow through your nasal passages, reducing disruptions caused by snoring and preventing you from waking up with a raspy throat. Many people even notice that sleeping with a humidifier makes their skin more vibrant!Research online to find the best humidifier for your personal needs so you can enjoy a more comfortable sleep.


3. Get a Better Mattress


Your mattress plays a key role in your quality of sleep, so consider an upgrade if yours is uncomfortable. When you go mattress shopping, try out various types of beds in your favorite sleeping position. Side sleepers often prefer more plushmattresses, while back sleepers need higher levels of support. Newsleep technologyhas even lead to the development of smart beds which adjust their level of firmness, support, and temperature throughout the night.


4. Go for a Run


Manystudieshave revealed that people who exercise on a regular basis tend to sleep better. Aerobic cardio activities are some of the best, including running, jogging, swimming, and biking. Going on a run in the late afternoon can help burn excess energy and produce a drop in body temperature to trigger sleepiness later in the evening. Just make sure you don't exercise too close to bedtime!


5. Develop a Bedtime Routine


Try to sleep on a regular routine so your body learns to relax around the same time every day. Developing a bedtime routine can help you stick to a sleep schedule and cue your body to wind down at night. Try to find relaxing activities to engage in during this time, such as meditation, yoga, and reading. According toNuvanna, you should avoid electronic use for 30 minutes before bed since the light from screens can interfere with sleep.


6. Put an End to Late-Night Snacking


When consumed before bed, certainfoodscan prevent you from falling asleep. Anything high in fat, carbs, meat protein, or caffeine will keep your digestive system working and your brain stimulated long after you lay down in bed. This means saying no to ice cream, after-dinner coffee, sugary cereal with milk, hamburgers, and even dark chocolate before bed.


Remember, trouble sleeping is a very common response to grief. It can feel weird and unnatural to lay down for the mundane activity of sleep when you're suffering from trauma in your life. Try to implement some of these suggestions, and your bedroom might become a haven for rejuvenation once again.


A big thank you to Sara Bailey for such a beautifully written and informative article.
Sara can be found at info@thewidow.net or TheWidow.net


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