Many people find they have difficulty sleeping after the death of a loved one. It is normal to be kept up by the various emotions of guilt, sadness, and anxiety that can manifest themselves while grieving. However, just because it is normal and understandable doesn’t mean it is something you can ignore.
Sleep and mental health feed into each other in a dangerous way. Depression and anxiety keep you awake, and this lack of sleep can make you feel even more emotionally vulnerable the next day. If you don’t focus on improving your sleep, you can find that it gets even harder for you during what is an already difficult time. Believe it or not, the following tips can make a world of difference in your sleep habits, which in turn can provide some of the extra physical and mental support you need.
Try Some Of These Calming Techniques
According to Psychology Today, one of the best ways to improve your sleep is to focus on relaxing in the lead-up to your bedtime. If your mind and body are feeling worried or tense, it will make it a lot harder for your brain to shut down for the night. Incorporate one of these anxiety-busting techniques into your nighttime routine to sleep better:
Redo Your Bedroom
A home improvement project may not be exactly what you want to think about right now, but it could be extremely helpful for your sleep problems. This is especially true if you have lost a spouse you used to share a bedroom with, and whose memory is very closely associated with the room in which you are trying to sleep.
You don’t have to redo everything – it’s up to you how much you want to preserve. However, these are a few areas in which a small change could make a big difference:
Sleeping well at night will not solve all of your problems or change what has happened. However, it will give you the rest you need to feel supported. It will give you the tools you need to process your grief in a healthy way and to continue your everyday life with some degree of normality. You owe it to yourself to practice self-care during this difficult time, and good sleep is an important part of that. It will get easier, as long as you focus on giving your body and mind what they need.
~ By Sara Bailey, Contributing Writer