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How to Improve Your Sleep When Grieving the Loss of a Loved One


The loss of a loved one resonates deep down in your heart and soul. The empty space they leave in your life lingers and never will fully be filled. While the loss of a loved one is hard and impacts your everyday life, there are some actions you can take to manage the effects of loss, especially when it comes to getting better rest and ensuring your self-care needs are met. Specifically, sleep deprivation, a common side effect of grief, can be treated. By focusing on better self-care, you will see results in your healing.

Calm Your Body and Mind

Although loss is devastating and affects every area of your life, it is essential to your overall wellbeing to deliberately take care of your physical and mental health. A lack of sleep can lead to physical complications such as stroke and obesity. Sleep deprivation also leads to emotional pitfalls, such as anger, loneliness or irritability. Creating and adhering to routine exercise will help relieve stress, release endorphins, strengthen your body, and help you sleep better and for longer. Nurture yourself by going for a long run in the morning, walking the dog around the neighborhood on your lunch break, heading to spin class after work, or any other kind of movement that makes you feel good.

In addition to establishing an exercise routine, the quality of your sleep and overall health will benefit from establishing a schedule, such as rising and sleeping around the same time everyday. By taking little steps to care for yourself, you will find that you will emotionally be able to better process your grief.

Make Your Bedroom Your Sanctuary

Where you sleep is your sanctuary. As such you should take extra care to make it a special place. If you lost your spouse, consider redoing the room you shared, not only in arrangement but also in decor. Your sleeping environment should be clutter-free, stress-free, clean and free of distractions. There hundreds of mattress options on the market. Spending time searching for and investing in the perfect mattress will completely alter your nighttime rest and is essential to a good night’s sleep. If you make your room a space that is not only comfortable but is tailored to your likes and needs, you will find that not only will your nighttime sleep improve, but your ability to conquer the next day also will improve.

Items that Help Improve Better Sleep

There are certain items on the market that can take the quality of your sleep to the next level. Technology has the capability to assist in creating an atmosphere for better rest through apps that simulate white noise, devices that add vibrations to mattresses, alarm clocks that track your sleep cycles, air purifiers and fans that eliminate pollutants and create the perfect room temperature, and mattresses that adjust to your perfect comfort. While certain technological advances can improve rest, you should take extra care to avoid blue lights, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Also, disconnect from social media and phone calls in order to calm your brain.

Grief can be a slow, difficult process. By taking steps to refocus your life, particularly in the area of rest, you will encourage healing, improve your mental and physical state, and help manage your loss. Take time to calm your mind and body by establishing an exercise and sleep routine. Make your bedroom a sanctuary by redecorating, creating a clean sleep environment and getting the right mattress. Finally, utilize technology to enhance your sleeping experience and avoid stimulating tasks and gadgets. It’s normal to lose sleep while grieving, but following these steps can help you take reclaim your rest.

About our Guest Blogger:

After losing her husband Greg, Sara Bailey created TheWidow.net to support her fellow widows and widowers. She is also the author of the upcoming book Hope and Help After Loss: A Guide For Newly Widowed Parents.

Photo Credit: Pexels


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