Ways to Improve Your Sleep During Times of Grief

“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” — E.A. Bucchianeri Guest post by Lucille Rosetti, The Bereaved

Photo via Pexels

Sleep may feel impossible when you are grieving the loss of a child, but the resulting fatigue

only heightens that sense of impossibility. You feel helpless to do any of the things you took for

granted before, even sleep. But there are things you can do to help you get the rest you need

— this guide presented by Vilomah Voice explores five ways to reclaim your sleep.


1. Manage Your Mental Health Before Anything Else

When the mind experiences grief, it can be overwhelmed by emotions, and essential processes

can be interrupted. It may be hard to sleep, and it can also be difficult to even think. If this is

the case for you, you may need to seek counseling to help you work through these emotions.

You also should work with your counselor to determine if what you’re experiencing is because of

grief, or if it’s more complicated and needs further treatment.


2. Practice Basic Self-Care to Enhance Your Sleep Quality

Much like your sleep, self-care can feel more like a burden during times of bereavement.

Getting even the most basic self-care into your daily routine, however, can help you process

your grief and help you get more sleep. Daily exercise is just one self-care practice that can

help, so try to get out for a walk or a bike ride during the day.


What you eat can affect your emotions and sleep as well, especially when it comes to nighttime

meals and snacks. Avoiding caffeine is an obvious step before bed, but avoiding spicy foods,

heavy meals and alcohol also can help you improve your overall sleep quality. It’s best to

maintain a balanced, healthy diet during the day — including breakfast, which is easy to skip. A

healthy diet will help you avoid stress, which can contribute to poor sleep.


3. Establish Better Bedtime Routines to Help Your Body Relax

If you begin practicing self-care during the day, you may have an easier time getting to bed at

night. Having a consistent routine helps. What you do right before bed, though, can have an

even bigger impact on the quantity and quality of your sleep. For example, if you're scrolling

through social media feeds or watching TV, you may be inadvertently keeping yourself awake.

The blue light from screens can make it harder for your brain to fully relax, so think about

turning electronics off a few hours before it’s time for bed. Getting sleep while grieving is

always hard, but making the right choices for your evening routine may make it somewhat

easier.


4. Support Your Sleep Habits with Helpful Gadgets and Supplements

During times of grief, you need a little extra support, so don’t hesitate to invest in products or

devices that support better sleep habits. Certain smart devices, like sleep monitors and light

therapy alarm clocks, can be well worth any added expense, because these gadgets really can

improve your ability to sleep. If falling asleep is your biggest challenge, ask your doctor about adding melatonin. It can help, but you have to use this sleep aid wisely. Taking it every night can make it harder to sleep and may cause you to feel drowsy the next day. Meditation also can help you focus and calm your thoughts before you crawl into bed.


Losing a child is emotionally devastating, and losing sleep can make the grieving process more

complicated. Use the tips above—and get professional help if you need it—in order to get the

sleep you need to process your grief and begin to live your life in a new way.


Do you have any routines or techniques that help you sleep? Let us know.

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