Updated: Jul 8
Grief, Self-Care, and Sleep: Habits to Help Reduce Sleep Deprivation After a Loss
The death of a loved one shakes your world to its very foundation. The grief you experience can manifest in several ways. Some people experience changes in appetite that result in either weight gain or loss. Other people may find that grief weakens their immune system, making them sick more often than usual, according to Everyday Health.
Another common symptom of bereavement is sleep deprivation. Losing sleep is obviously bad for your mental and physical health, since those eight hours of snooze are vital for the mind and body to recuperate and rejuvenate. When you sleep, your body performs many essential processes, including memory storage and skin repair. When you fail to get enough rest, it manifests in many adverse ways, ranging from serious brain fog to a haggard complexion.
To avoid sleep deprivation after a major loss, evaluate your current bedtime routine. If you find yourself drinking, eating, and stressing out before bed, it’s time to work on healthy habits that build a regular sleeping pattern. Today, Blog Iron Will offers a few places to start.
Optimize Your Home
Obviously, grief can make even being in your home feel like a struggle – which is why it’s all the more essential to do everything you can to optimize your home for wellness and comfort. Don’t deny your grief, but do what you can to avoid blame and self-criticism. Engage in self-care whenever and however you can. Even reducing mess and clutter can be beneficial.
Break a Sweat
Many of us have a hard time falling asleep at night because we don’t do a good enough job of expending energy during the day. Exercise is one of the most underutilized sleep medicines available. Working out improves the quality of your sleep while increasing its duration. And while there are many benefits to working out in the morning, exercising in the early evening manipulates your body’s temperature to make you feel sleepier at night.
You don’t have to become a gym rat to reap the benefits of exercise. Simply find some activities that make you feel good, and try to incorporate movement into your day as much as possible. Take your dog on that extra walk, attend a spin class after work with friends, or listen to your favorite podcasts while on an evening jog. You can also download apps that provide plenty of exercise plans for you to follow, as well as meal plans that you can use to supplement your new routine.
Change Your Mattress
Out of all the handy sleep gadgets on the market, nothing plays a bigger role in rest quality than your mattress. Over the years, your mattress collects pounds of dust, sweat, skin cells, and other not-so-nice things. Because of this, it’s best to replace your mattress after five to 10 years. Invest in a mattress model that supports your sleep style. Are you a side sleeper? Look for a plush mattress that provides ample support without being too dense or firm. Back sleepers need a higher level of support found in more medium to firm mattresses. When stomach sleepers lie on very soft mattresses, their chest and hips sink down lower than the rest of their bodies, which results in neck and back pain — that’s why they need the firmest versions of all. But in the end, the most important thing is to pick that mattress that feels best to you. It’s a very personal decision that requires a bit of intuition to make the right choice.
Talk to a Professional
Regular counseling sessions can not only contribute to a better night’s sleep, but they can also help improve your well-being and assist you during the grieving process. And these days, thanks to the internet, you can advance your own wellness from the privacy of your home. In fact, finding the best online therapy for you only takes a few moments, and you can get started today!
It’s always a good idea to make routine visits to your doctor to help you decide the right treatment option. If you’re a senior, you might benefit from an insurance plan that covers preventive care and access to wellness programs, which can help increase your overall health.
It’s never easy dealing with a major loss. Grief manifests in a lot of different ways. Many people experience sleep deprivation and the damaging effects of insomnia. It’s important to correct sleep disturbances in order to support optimal mental and physical health. Your bedtime routine has a direct influence on your quality of sleep. Practicing good sleep hygiene requires a multi-faceted approach, but if turning off the television an hour before bed isn’t enough for you, try adding exercise, a new mattress, or therapy to the equation to overcome sleep deprivation.
Blog Iron Will creates an open and honest, yet respectful space to encourage, connect, and inspire individuals to become more active and interested in reading. Feel free to reach out with any questions or suggestions you may have.
This article was written and submitted by Mark Harris