When Rest Doesn’t Come Easy for a Heart That’s Hurting
Losing a loved one is a gutting experience. That kind of tragedy can cause a great deal of shock and pain, making it difficult to function. Sleep in particular can become extremely difficult. After all, how is a person supposed to sleep at night when they’re mourning the loss of someone they’ll never see again? If you’ve recently lost a loved one and have lost sleep as a result, there are many things you can do to restore your peace of mind and get some rest. Counselor and life coach Shasta Hickman outlines a few here.
Adjusting Your Eating and Drinking Habits
Those who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep can often find some relief simply by adjusting what they do before bed. What you eat and drink, like sugary foods and caffeine, can keep you up later than you’d like and affect your quality of sleep. So avoid eating a few hours before bed so your sleep isn’t interrupted by digestion.
Know When to Say Goodnight to Technology
Using your phone or laptop right before bed can stimulate your mind, making sleep even harder. The light from the screen also wakes you up and messes with your circadian rhythm, which, as the Sleep Foundation explains, is the scientific term for your sleep/wake cycle. So turn off all devices at least a half-hour before bed so that your brain has time to settle down and get used to lower light. You might even want to keep your devices in another room so that you’re not tempted to browse. Read a book before bed instead. There’s potentially less stimulation in words on a page, and you won’t be kept up by blue light.
A New Bed
Maybe you need a new mattress. Mattresses are only good for about eight years, and then it’s time to replace them. This time around, try being more intentional with your mattress purchase. Choose one that’s right for your sleep position. With the different mattress materials and levels of firmness, you’re sure to find the one that gives you just the right support and proper alignment.
Time for a Change?
Investing in a new mattress isn’t the only change you might want to consider. Changing up your room is another way to adjust the environment that you sleep in, especially if you lost a spouse. Your bedroom might be a sore spot to spend your time at night, but simply redecorating it or moving your furniture around could breathe new life into it.
You may even consider changing up the scenery a bit, and maybe even get to know a few new neighbors. This entails moving into a new place, such as an apartment. There are plenty of apartment rentals in Seattle to choose from, more than 5,000 in fact. Use an online search portal like Apartment List to filter through the available units, and find a location and amenities that suit your lifestyle.
Adjust Your Sleep Routine
Settling on a specific sleep regimen is another great way to fall asleep faster. Do the same routine each night before bed at the same time to get your internal clock adjusted and to signal to your brain that it’s bedtime. Once you’re in bed, Healthline suggests using deep breathing techniques like the 4-7-8 method to relax your body and take your mind off of everything else.
Mind Your Stressors
There may be other things besides grief that are keeping you up at night. If work has been a recent source of anxiety, examine your habits there. You may be able to improve your sleep by addressing stress in other aspects of your life.
Give Yourself the Care You Deserve
Self-care may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important because self-care has a direct correlation to your physical and mental health. This includes getting quality sleep of at least seven hours a night, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and taking time for yourself.
The grieving period is your time to rest and recover so you can begin a new chapter in life. It’s a rough transition in the beginning, but sleep will eventually find its way back to you. When it does, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to move on from tragedy. It’s not easy, but there’s always a way forward.
Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, or any other issue, counselor and life coach Shasta Hickman wants you to know that there is hope for a better tomorrow through counseling. Reach out today! (971) 303-9868