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Loss and grief can hurt. There are emotional tolls, of course, but it’s important to remember that emotional pain can have physical manifestations. Stress can cause your immune system to function poorly. Depression can steal your appetite. When you’re struggling with the physical and emotional manifestations of grief, a multifaceted, holistic approach is often appropriate. One of the most difficult manifestations to manage can be the loss of sleep. It’s easy to empathize with this struggle - there are so many thoughts and feelings that might keep you up late at night after a loss. This brief post will help you restore your rest - sleep is a benefit to the whole body.
Sleep debt (when you’re not getting enough sleep each night) is extraordinarily common - frighteningly so. The silver lining is this: there’s now a lot of research and advice on how to restore your sleep. This advice doesn’t differ too substantially for people who have experienced loss.
The first tip is to create a sanctuary - a room that is used almost exclusively for rest. Don’t get on your phone in bed, and get rid of any TVs and other electronics in your room. You might even move your phone away from your bedside and use a traditional alarm clock. Clear clutter from your bedroom, wash and change your linens and comforter, and keep the room cool and comfortable.
Changing your bedtime habits can be a huge help. Don’t drink caffeine too late in the day and avoid drinking alcohol late, too. Take time to exercise every day. When you exercise during daylight, your body may feel more tired when it’s time to sleep. Turn off your electronics at least an hour before you go to sleep; the light that emanates from your electronic devices can trick your mind into thinking it’s still daytime.
You may want to change your sleep habits, too. Taking naps during the day can feel restful in the moment, but may delay your sleep. Need to wake up at a particular time but find you can’t get to sleep on time? Go to bed earlier. Don’t make changes too rapidly. Moving your bedtime back by about 10-15 minutes a night can really add up over time. Before you go to bed, take time to relax - you can use mindful relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation, or any other practices that suit you.
At times of loss, what keeps many people up is grief. Thoughts about your loved one may come up, unprovoked, as you lie in bed. One way to alleviate this is journaling. The practice of journaling is powerful at any time. When grieving, it can be helpful to get painful thoughts out of your head and onto paper so you can process them.
Looking at funeral homes in Winnipeg Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to offer you resources, be it on coping with grief or pre-planning a funeral. Check out our blog for more resources and get in contact with us if you have any questions or need any guidance.