How to Find Comfort, and Get the Sleep You Need, After Losing a Loved One

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There’s a 50/50 chance that you will have to experience the loss of your spouse. However, that doesn’t mean the loss of a spouse is any easier. No matter the circumstances, the shock and grief you feel can be overwhelming and can make getting rest seem impossible. But sleep is essential in being able to process your grief and keep yourself healthy, so try these tips to improve your sleep during this difficult time.

It’s Okay to Sleep Somewhere Else for a While

Bedrooms can be a big grief trigger for those who have lost their partner or spouse. It can be difficult to get comfortable in a space you shared with your loved one for so many years. So if you need to stay with a friend or family member immediately after, do so. If you need to sleep on your couch or in a different room when you get home, that’s okay too. People process grief in their own way, and you shouldn’t feel anxious about doing what you need to get the sleep that can help you stay clear-headed and healthy. If you still cannot get to sleep, you can try a few techniques, like turning off electronics or scheduling sleep time, to help you get better rest.

You May Need a Change of Scenery in Your Room

When you do return to your bedroom, it can be helpful to change a few things up. Take your time going through your loved one’s possessions, and have a family member help you out if you need to do any decluttering. If your room is painted in bright colours, you may even want to think about swapping the colours for more neutral ones. Wall colour in bedrooms can impact how well you sleep and can even influence your emotions. Most people respond well to neutral colours in the bedroom, such as earth tones that are more conducive to calm and rest. You can also try adding some sleep tools to your bedroom, like an intelligent sleep mask or smart alarm clock.

A New Mattress Can Help You Sleep

If you’ve had your mattress for a while, replacing it may be a smart move for your sleep. Some signs of an old mattress include sunken spots, protruding springs, and dips in the surface. If you are waking up with physical pain, that could be a good indicator that you need to find a new mattress too. Many experts suggest evaluating your mattress every five to seven years, so that you can make sure you still have a mattress that’s right for you. You age and sleeping style should both be factors in choosing a mattress. For seniors and older adults, sleeping tends to be more difficult anyhow, but the loss of a partner can make matters worse. Look for a mattress that provides the most comfort for you. Make sure your mattress keeps your spine aligned and provides enough support for your body.

You Have to Take Care of Yourself in Other Ways Too

Caring for yourself can be challenging when you are grieving a spouse. Everyday tasks like eating, getting dressed, and showering can take all of your energy. However, if you are not falling asleep at night, you may need to make an effort to change some of your other daily habits. Regular exercise is key to a good night’s sleep, and some research suggests morning workouts could be best for those suffering from insomnia. Exercise at any time of day, however, can improve the quality of your sleep by helping to set your body’s internal clock and burn off excess energy. Exercise boosts sleep by reducing the negative impact of stress as well, which can be helpful when you are working through grief and dealing with any paperwork or other issues. Eating healthy is important too, but it’s important for you to get some sort of sustenance into your body. Just try to avoid these foods before bedtime.

Losing a spouse is never easy. However, losing sleep can impact your physical health and mental wellness, so try to get rest when you can. May you find peace and comfort in this difficult time.

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