Written by: Melissa Kauffman
We all know that grief is an ill-fated part of our lives, and one way or the other, one has to face this unfortunate event. We grief over the loss of a person or pet, and in this process, our mental health is most affected. With mental health, sleep deprivation is also suffered.
People who grieve often suffer from sleep-disruption. And the etiological factors we suffer from grief are anxiety and depression, and these two, in return, disrupt the sleep pattern.
But if we change our routines or add in some habits that can help us sleep better, then we are inclined towards peace and happiness.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a medical condition that means the inability to sleep or the inability to stay awake. People suffering from insomnia often find it difficult to fall asleep, or even if they sleep, they wake up restless.
Insomnia becomes a major problem when it becomes a routine. During REM sleep, the person in grief often experiences dreams regarding the loss of their loved one. This process conducted by the brain disrupts the sleep pattern.
Why Do We Need Sleep?
We all need a maximum of seven hours of sleep to stay healthy and fresh, but if a person fails to sleep well, even for one night, he or she cannot concentrate well the other day.
If insomnia becomes chronic, the following diseases are likely to occur
Increased levels of stress
Excessive swelling and inflammation
Loss of memory
Type 2 diabetes with CVS diseases and most commonly
Anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are serious factors that are difficult to cope with. If these factors become chronic, things can go bad.
However, we will discuss certain ways to improve the quality of sleep; let's take a look at these points.
Exercise can help combat many health-related problems, let alone be grief. With sufficient exercise every day, a person can cope well with grief and anxiety. However, it is advisable not to exercise after 7 pm as your sleep can be disrupted.
With exercise being regarded as the everyday routine tool, you can see a great improvement in your sleep pattern. But a person who is suffering from the loss of a person or pet or must go for mild exercising such as a brisk walk.
Keep Your Bedrooms Sacred
It has been stated that bedrooms act as a sanctuary, and they have several purposes. On the contrary, many experts feel that we use our bedrooms for sleep and sex. Experts also claim that people should not watch television in their bedrooms.
They should also remove their pets from the room at night so that no disturbance occurs. Also, make your room attractive with scented bedding and yellow light lamps. This way, you will feel relaxed and will eventually fall asleep.
No Electronic Devices Must Be Used Before Sleeping
Often during grief-induced insomnia, we keep ourselves distracted with Social media platforms Such as Netflix, Hulu, or Instagram. It is a good idea. Still, excessive use of these may disrupt sleep badly.
Experts recommend that we not use an excess of these social media platforms from our home devices because the light coming out of the device can inhibit the circadian rhythm, which lowers the release of melatonin, which is a sleep hormone.
So when melatonin production is less, our sleep will automatically be compromised. One must and can use mobile devices for fun activities. Still, it is advisable to stop using them at least one hour before bedtime.
No Caffeine Or Alcohol Before Bedtime
This is a very important point to look into. In grief, people often drink a little too much just to make themselves sleepy or lethargic. Still, the truth is that, indeed, alcohol drinking may induce sleepiness. Still, once the body metabolizes the alcohol, our body becomes active, and our sleep patterns are badly affected. Similar is the case with caffeine.
The National Foundation of Sleep recommends avoiding caffeine and alcohol after 3 pm, so this way, a person's sleep may not be neglected.
Try Yoga, Massage, And Meditation
Several relaxing activities can help the other person sleep properly, and these are yoga, meditation, or massage.
You can give a message to your head and shoulders for relaxation purposes, and you will see a good change in your sleep pattern.
With yoga every day, one can achieve mental health peace, and with peace, one can go to bed early and sleep properly.
Meditation is one of the most effective ways of improving sleep, especially if a person is grieving; they must turn to meditation for peace and good sleep.
Start A Journal Or Seek Help
It is recommended that journalism help a great deal since the person can pour out his feelings and thoughts and relax a little. And when a person is a little relaxed from the brain and heart, they can sleep better.
Another way to deal with cognitive behavior is to seek professional help. When you feel nothing is working out for you and your sleep pattern is getting no better, it is time to make an appointment with the doctor and seek medicines or another sort of help. This way, you can regain your mental health and sleep.
How To Deal With The Loss Of Your Pet
The most important thing one can do to cope with the loss of one pet is
Explain the grief or share it with your young children so that they will understand how important animals are
You and your family need some time alone to grieve
Hold a ceremony for your lost pet to give honor to it
Maintain your other pets schedule so that no loss occurs for next time
If you are not coping up well, talk to your therapist
Sometimes the loss of a pet occurs due to its stubbornness, and one such example is a dog pet. For training a stubborn dog, it is important to buy a collar. There are several types of dog collars, but one must know that dogs also come in different sizes.
Therefore if you plan on buying a collar, measure your dog's neck with a measuring tape. This way, you will be able to buy the perfect size for your dog.
Like said before, sleep and grief often go parallel. When a person is grieving, they would hate to do anything. And when they don't eat and sleep properly, their health can deteriorate at major levels.
Sleep doesn't need to be always related to grief. There could be other problems too. But for all the above points must be exercised for treating insomnia.