Losing a loved one can have major consequences when it comes to the way you feel, both physically and mentally. Grief can manifest itself in many different ways, causing bodily and emotional pain that prevents you from being productive at work or getting good sleep. When you can’t rest, the chances of you being unable to handle stress or anxiety in other parts of your life are higher, leaving you defenseless and exhausted.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get better rest even during the grieving process. By learning how to cope with your feelings in the moment and deal with anxiety and sadness as it comes, you can teach your body and mind to relax and give yourself the gift of restful sleep. It might also be helpful to think about additional factors, such as the temperature of your bedroom, the comfort of your mattress, and the quality of the air inside your home.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to cope with the effects of a loss and get better sleep.
When you’re grappling with sadness or depression, it can be very difficult to get up and work out. However, exercise has been shown in studies to actually help relieve some of the effects of depression by elevating mood and boosting self-esteem and confidence. Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, meaning you’ll get mental health benefits while keeping yourself fit. The biggest benefit? It can help your body and brain get ready for sleep faster, and tiring yourself out with physical movement is a healthy way to get better rest.
Know what to eat and drink
They say that diet and exercise are two of the best cures for just about anything that ails you, and in this case, it’s true. Certain foods can have a negative effect on your ability to fall asleep, so it’s best to stay away from these before bedtime. Chocolate, caffeine (which can be found in many teas), and meats–which are hard to digest–are best eaten in the daytime, well away from the later hours.
Turn off the television
Or any screen, really. The television, your computer or smartphone, and your tablet all emit blue light, which can make it harder to fall asleep if you’re using them just before bed. Not only that, reading through social media feeds can build up anxiety or stress that will keep good rest at arm’s length. Put all screens away at least an hour before you lay down and do something relaxing, instead, such as reading a book.
Get the right bedding
Your body temperature, bedding, and sleep position all have an effect on what kind of rest you’re getting, so it’s a good idea to take a second look at what you wear to bed, how you lay in it, and how comfortable your blankets and pillows are. Your mattress is a big component, too; if it’s more than ten years old, consider replacing it.
Eliminate indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution can have a major effect on your sleep habits, because it affects the way you breathe. Dirt, dust, mold, and allergens can all become trapped in your bedding and carpeting, so it’s important to change your air filters regularly, vacuum often, and invest in a quality air purifier that will eliminate those allergens so you can breathe easy at night.
Losing a loved one can take a toll on many different aspects of your life. It’s important to learn about the stages of grief and how to handle them when they come your way, so talk to a professional if you feel you need some help. With better sleep often comes better peace of mind.