Guest Blog - from Sara Bailey @ The Widow.net
Getting Adequate Rest After the Loss of a Loved One
The loss of a loved one comes with many emotions, including sadness, grief, stress, and frustration. With everything going on, it can be difficult to get adequate sleep. This is especially true if you are used to sleeping next to a spouse or partner. For many, the secret to getting back on a regular sleep schedule is a change in environment and routine. This change can be a key component of calming your body and mind for a restful sleep.
Redo Your Bedroom
Changing your bedroom style, layout, and design can help provide a fresh start. During this process, you will also be making your bedroom into a personalized sanctuary equipped with all the necessary materials to rest and rejuvenate. To start, identify what it is that you don’t like about your bedroom. No closet space? Clutter? An old mattress or clunky bed frame? Whatever it is, you can change it! Next, research what style you would like your room. Chic and clean? Warm and homey? Modern and unique? Having a design style in mind can help you make decisions when purchasing additional items. To curb bedroom spending, consider developing a budget to help guide you. If you want to love your space both now and in the future, refrain from spending excessive funds on gimmicks or trendy items. Instead, invest in timeless classics you will continue to love.
Get Adequate Exercise
If your muscles are not tired, you are more likely to experience short or long-term sleep deprivation. On top of that, you may be exhausted during the day but unable to sleep at night. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to start incorporating physical activity (which is an important part of self-care) into your daily routine. Even a little bit of activity can make a big impact on sleep. If you do not love exercise, start by making small changes in your daily life. Instead of sitting to drink a coffee, pour it into a to-go cup and walk around a park. After dinner, stretch or do yoga while listening to a podcast, audiobook, or music.
Rethink What You Eat
What you eat can have a drastic impact on your physical health, mood, and energy levels. In addition, what you eat (or don’t eat) during the day can contribute to the restlessness you feel at night. Eating too late in the evening is a significant contributor to sleeplessness. Eating foods rich in fat, protein, or carbohydrates can make you feel uncomfortable and wide-awake. Food gives people energy, and excessive energy is antithetical to a good night’s sleep. If you want to sleep well, try to avoid eating three hours before bedtime. During the day, limit stimulants like caffeine and alcohol. Overconsumption of these beverages can trick your body into thinking it needs to stay awake and alert. Rethinking what you eat is a vital component of self-care. Learning to love and take care of your mind and body is especially important after the loss of a loved one.
Develop a Sleep Pattern
If you go to bed at 2 am one night and 6 pm another night, it is no wonder you have a hard time getting to sleep. An effective sleep routine can ensure you are actually tired when night falls. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day (even on weekends). If you find it difficult to go to sleep at night, try to eliminate electronics from your evening routine. While it may seem relaxing to watch your favorite show in bed, watching TV, scrolling social media, and answering emails can reduce the quality of a person’s sleep.
If losing someone you love has affected your sleep pattern, consider some of the sleep strategies above. Redoing your bedroom, taking control of your eating/exercise, and revamping your sleep routine are all important component of self-care and healing.