Quality Sleep After a Loved One Dies

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After funerals at funeral homes, you may have difficulty sleeping. Coping with losing a loved one is stressful and emotional, and that can affect both your ability to sleep and the quality of your sleep when you finally get to rest. This can lead to sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation not only makes daily activities, such as driving, dangerous, but it also allows toxins to build up in your brain, which is not good for long-term neurological health.

There are some things that you can do that may help you sleep more soundly and restfully.

Try to find relaxation techniques to ease your mind. A racing mind is a barrier to good sleep. Develop a nightly bedtime ritual where you stop for the day and engage in nothing but relaxing activities that make you feel calm. Disconnect from all electronic devices (including television) at least two hours before bedtime.

Get a cup of hot decaffeinated tea and find a good book to read. This will give your mind a break from the reality of your loss. A warm shower just before bed can relax you and help induce sleep.

Next, make your bedroom a place that invites sleep. If you’ve lost a spouse, the bedroom you shared may make you feel lonely or sad. You can counter this in a couple of ways. You can either rearrange furniture in the bedroom, paint the room a different color, and buy new linens and window treatments to make the bedroom seem new, or you can make another bedroom your new bedroom.

If you choose to redo the bedroom you shared with your spouse, choose the paint color wisely. Blue is a color that is known for its calming effect, so combining a light shade of blue with a light beige color may help make your bedroom more conducive to sleep. You should avoid bright and vivid wall colors because they can make you feel stimulated, which will inhibit your ability to go to sleep and sleep well.

If your bed is more than 10 years old, you should consider getting a new mattress. You’ll want to look for mattresses that offer good support and are able to provide proper spine alignment.

Another thing that promotes quality sleep is daily exercise. Exercise is a good way to eliminate stress. Exercise also burns energy, which can reduce restlessness and the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep.

Exercise can include anything from a brisk walk to riding a bike to yoga to tai chi to a swim in a pool or even yardwork and gardening. But it’s important to allocate time every day – at least 30 minutes – for purposeful moving.

A final way to help get quality sleep is to eliminate snacking at night. If you feel hungry before bed, eat a 1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese about 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Cottage cheese contains a protein that improves metabolism even into the following day, and it is easy to digest. Don’t eat foods that are high in fat, sugar, and carbs, and avoid coffee, dark chocolate, and spicy foods after 6 pm, because all of these can prevent you from getting quality sleep.

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Don’t drink a lot of alcohol either. Although alcohol may put you to sleep, it won’t keep you asleep, and once you wake up, it will be difficult to get back to sleep.

Losing someone you love is never easy and grief is never easy. But you can limit some of the toll it takes on your body by trying to get healthy, restorative sleep every night.

If you need sleep resources after funerals at funeral homes, our empathetic and knowledgeable staff at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home can assist you.