Sleep and Grief: Learning To Sleep Alone
Losing someone you love is one of the hardest things to go through in life. The grieving process can take a long time and affect many different parts of your life. Sleep is often heavily affected by our emotional life. Although sleep can also be a helpful tool to use in order to find peace and healing. We are here to share with you some information on how grief and affect your sleep, while also sharing ways to get to sleep if you find yourself suddenly sleeping alone. Keep reading to learn more.
Why do our bodies and minds need rest? Read our blog The Importance of Sleep to find out what happens when we sleep and why we depend on it.
Grief & Oversleeping:
Our emotions truly do play such a big toll on our sleeping habits. Grieving can also feel like quite the rollercoaster. Somedays you may find yourself sleeping throughout the entire day. It can be overwhelming and difficult to face consciousness when grieving the loss of a loved one.
The emotional toll can also leave you feeling heavy and drained of all energy. This is very common for many people. Sleep can be healing and it is important to allow yourself rest when it is truly needed.
You may also be interested in reading: News Report Insomnia
Grief & Insomnia:
Other times you may find you can no longer sleep throughout the night. This can be triggered by overwhelming thoughts, or even due to your sleep schedule being mixed up from sleeping throughout the day. Insomnia is also commonly experienced in small doses while grieving.
If you are finding that your insomnia is lasting over several days in a row, you may want to talk to a doctor to ensure nothing else is going on with your health to cause your lack of sleep.
If you are struggling with insomnia at this time, you may be interested in reading our Guide To Insomnia.
Tips For Learning How To Sleep Alone
Sleep When You Can:
If you have a flexible schedule, or you are able to take some time off to heal. Then try to get some sleep whenever you can. The grieving process can be exhausting and while we would not normally recommend sleeping any time of day or night, this is absolutely an exception. If you feel the urge to get some rest, listen to your body during this healing process.
Be Kind To Yourself:
When you find yourself unable to fall asleep, be kind to yourself. Do not get upset with yourself for being unable to sleep, or overly stressed that you will be too tired tomorrow. Trust that your body will get the sleep in needs eventually. Try to be understanding and allow yourself to simply rest your body in bed, even if your mind refuses to fall asleep.
Reach Out For Help:
We always recommending having a network of people that you know you can reach out to during these hard times. Whether it is made up of family members, friends, chosen family, or professional therapist. It is good to always have someone you can reach out to during these difficult times.
If you can connect with an online therapy hotline, these are very helpful for those late nights we you are concerned about waking up loved ones but need that extra help while everyone else is sleeping.
Switch Up Your Sleep Position:
If you and your loved one were big into snuggling, it may be difficult to fall asleep without their presence. You may want to consider changing sleeping position, if this sounds like something you are going through. When you are used to spooning and laying on your side, then you might want to try laying on your back instead. This makes their absence feel less overwhelming.
Adding extra pillows and body pillows can also be a good way to get in the position that you are used to sleeping in more comfortably. Funnily enough u-shaped pregnancy pillows are great for this as they hug the body nicely.
Create A New Routine:
Instead of dreading falling asleep at night, create a new nighttime routine. Give yourself something you can do each night as a form of self-care.
Something small you can do for yourself that makes you feel good. Whether it is a little facemask, a soak in the tub, a foot massage, some relaxing yoga, or perhaps even just an episode of one of your favorite shows. This can be a good way to add in some good vibes into your nightly routine.
Use A Sound Machine:
Is the sound of silence too much to handle? Perhaps your partner used to snore, and the silence is overwhelming. You may want to invest in a sound machine, there are also a number of apps you can use via your smart phone or through other smart devices.
Sound machine will create that white noise that helps block out little sounds of the house or neighbors and gives your ears something to listen to as you drift off to sleep.
Get A Weighted Blanket:
If you have yet to discover the amazing effects of a weighted blanket, then now is a great time to get one. What weighted blankets do is provide a sensation of deep pressure. This simulates the sensation similar to a long tight hug. Which actually can trigger the mind to release good feeling hormones into your system which calms you down and relieves anxiety and stress.
Deep pressure therapy is actually commonly used for those with anxiety or get overwhelmed easily. Weighted blankets are such a great tool for just about anyone who is struggling to get to sleep at night.
Click the link to learn more about the many benefits of weighted blankets.
Get a Pet:
Pets can be a great source of comfort and companionship. If you already have a pet, try letting them up on the bed for a while. Dogs cats and even some other pets can make for fantastic snuggle buddies. This can be an amazing source of comfort.
If you do not already have a pet, then this may be a wonderful time to get one. They can bring much needed joy into your life. They also provide a sense of purpose. You have to get up in the morning because this little creature needs to eat and go outside, as do you.
Debating on whether or not to allow your pet to sleep next to you? If so, check out our post: Sleeping With Your Dog
Embrace The Benefits of Sleeping Alone:
This is definitely a silver lining moment. Think up all of the many benefits there are to sleeping on your own. You get the full bed to yourself to stretch out, no more waking up to the sound of snoring, or having your blankets stolen away from you. While these things may seem small and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, it can be helpful looking for these kinds of silver linings.
Having nightmares? Check out our post: How To Go Back To Sleep After a Nightmare
If you are grieving a loss through a breakup, or simply needing a fresh start. A great way to do this is by redecorating your room. Your bedroom carries a lot of memories with it. Which can make it difficult to get to sleep when you are surrounded by these old memories.
Redecorating can be a great way to give yourself a fresh start and make your bedroom feel yours again. Go the whole nine yards, get a new bedframe, mattress, sheets, nightstands, etc. Fill it will your favorite colors and art that bring you joy.
Looking to create a peaceful sleeping space without spending a fortune? Check out our post: Zen Bedroom on a Budget
Meditation is a very healing process. It is a great way not only to begin to having more control over your thoughts, but also to calm yourself down, control anxiety, and get to sleep faster. This is just to name a few of the many benefits of sleep meditation.
If you are trying to fall asleep, your body is tired, but your mind is keeping you awake. Then meditation can be a great way to focus your mind away from negative thoughts as well as calm yourself down so that you can get the sleep you need.
You May Also Enjoy: Meditation for Sleep, Anxiety & Healing
Talk to a Therapist:
Whenever you are dealing with grief a licensed professional can help you to find healthy ways to work through your emotions.
We should not have to go through grief alone, and sometime our friendly and family simply do not have the tools to give us the help we need. Which is why seeking help from a professional can really make a huge difference.
If you are struggling with depression, then you may enjoy reading our post: How to Sleep Better with Depression
Sleep and Grief: Learning To Sleep Alone
Grief and sleep have a complicated relationship. Sleep can be very helpful during the grieving process, although being stricken with grief can also make it very difficult to sleep. Or on the other hand, it can cause you to oversleep or feel tired when you need to be awake. Keep in mind that time will help to heal your wounds and that include getting back to a regular sleep schedule. Be sure to get the help you need n the meantime and be kind to yourself as you heal.
Have and questions or comments? You can always reach out to us through our Contact Us page. We would love to talk with you.