Your sleep patterns may become disrupted during grief, especially in the beginning stages. You may have trouble sleeping, or you may find yourself sleeping more than usual to avoid the pain of your loss.
If you are having trouble sleeping try these suggestions:
- Avoid caffeine or reduce your intake of coffee, colas, tea, and even chocolate.
- Stick to a routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
- Read a book before bedtime. If a novel keeps you up, find a boring book.
- Be sure the room temperature is comfortable-not too hot or too cold.
- Stick to quiet activities the last hour before bed.
- Avoid heavy meals before bed that can disrupt sleep.
- Turn off radios, TV, etc. The noise can affect the quality of your sleep.
- Exercise for 20-30 minutes at least 4 hours before bedtime. Be sure not to exercise close to bedtime- your body will still be ‘hyped up.’
- Drink warm milk– yes it really does work. Plain milk is a natural sedative.
- Take a warm shower or relaxing bath before bed.
- Try deep breathing and relaxation techniques while lying in bed.
- Visualize a quiet and peaceful place.
- Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills. These are only temporary fixes that can lead to dependency and other issues later on.
The above information was adapted from the book Hope is Like the Sun: Finding Hope and Healing After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death.