Author Topic: Strategies  (Read 220 times)

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Offline Louise53

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Strategies
« on: March 16, 2019, 08:41:58 AM »
I am wondering if anyone has any strategies to help them get through the night. The doctor has given me sleeping pills and they work to get me to sleep but then I wake up again after three hours and really struggle to get to sleep again.  I feel permanently exhausted which may be the terrible grief but the lack of sleep isn't helping.  Thank you.

Offline Sandra61

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 09:48:30 AM »
Hello Louise,

Sleep is a terrible problem when you are grieving. One I think we all go through. I find it can help to take a bath with some lavender bah oil or salts before bed. It warms you up and is supposed to be relaxing. I also try not to drink tea or coffee much in the evening as they can both keep you awake too, so perhaps stick to milky drinks like Ovaltine or Horlicks. It also helps if you can really tire yourself out doing something during the day. I always sleep a bit longer when exhausted! Gardening or walking or an exercise or dance class of some kind will help with this. Others sleep hugging their loved one's pillow and find that comforting enough to help. If all else fails I try taking Nytol and that sometimes works. I take the herbal one, as I don't like taking medicines much. It makes you drowsy and helps you drop off. Failing that, I give up trying to sleep and get up and do something else for a while until I feel tired enough to try again. Then I can usually sleep for a few hours.

It helps to make sure you eat and drink enough during the day too. So many of us in this situation neglect to do that and that only makes you feel worse.

Unfortunately, there is so much going round in your mind after a loss, that difficulty sleeping is a problem for most grieving people and there is no easy answer. I think it is simply a symptom of the process we go through. It does get better as time goes on and you start to accept what has happened and get more used to your new situation. It is about a year and a half now since I lost my mum, who lived with me, and nowadays I do manage to sleep for about four or five hours at a time as opposed to the two or three I got for months after I first lost her.

I know what you mean exactly though. Grief is exhausting and not being able to sleep just makes you more exhausted and that in turn, makes the sadness and pain worse too. it is a vicious circle! So experiment with some of the strategies I have tried. You never know, some may help you. If not, someone else will probably offer you some different suggestions on here, that might work better.

Thinking of you, Louise.. :hearts:

Offline Louise53

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 05:27:31 PM »
Thank you for such a kind and thoughtful reply. It is still early days for me because my darling husband only died 4 weeks ago,  but what a desolate 4 weeks they have been. I miss him so much. I don't have the words to express how I feel. I loved and love him so much.

Offline Sandra61

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 08:38:55 AM »
I am sure you do. Try to look after yourself and keep talking to us. Talking probably helps the most in the end. Sending strength and hugs to you, Louise ..xx  :hug: :hug: :hug:

Offline Louise53

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 08:51:52 AM »
I imagine that he is in bed with me and I talk to him al the time that I am awake and give him virtual hugs and cuddles. I don't know whether it is just my imagination or whether his spirit is really with me. I hope it's the latter!!

Offline Karena

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 11:08:40 AM »
 :hug:I believe it is the case.In the very early days finding a stategy is so difficult and as you say going back to sleep once you have slept then woken is even more difficult.
I used to get up, and take the dog for a walk, - obviousely thats not a safe thing to do in a lot of areas in the early hours, especially if you dont have a dog and people here did express concern but i am in a very safe rural area.
What i do now is pick up the book/kindle i am reading and carry on reading it -because reading, having done so since being a child with a torch under the covers, triggers a sleep response in me (which can be interesting when at work) - also in the early days i didnt go to bed - slept downstairs on the sofa in front of the TV - that was not helping  either so i am stricter with myself now, no screen in my room and an old kindle that isnt backlit for reading.
Also as others have said warm bath, non caffeine drink, there is a pukka nightime tea that does seem to help (put honey in if you dont like the taste) i find Milk gives me indigestion these days so that just makes it worse. lavendar spray can also be handy.I used to sleep in my husbands big fleece jumper as well that i think helped.

When it comes to cuddles, a recent discovery for me was i bought a bamboo covered memory foam V shaped pillow -its very firm - not a floppy one - but you can kind of suround yourself with it - maybe a bit babyish to take too what is effectively a security blanket and nothing like the real thing - but i,m beyond worrying about things like that sleep is more important - for me now, five hours is average, 6 a lie in and i can function fine, but reduce five to four or less and i,m hopeless next day.

Offline CarolineL

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 05:23:22 PM »
Hi Louise, so sorry to hear you are having trouble with sleep, this seems to be something we have all suffered with. My husband passed 8 months ago and I am finding sleep easier these days but just after four weeks like yourself if I got two hours a night it was something. I was always an 8 hour girl falling asleep no problem cuddled in to my hubby every night, it just takes time (like everyone says) to adjust.
My strategy for sleep is not to expect to much, if I get a few hours its better than none, I maybe a bit grumpy from being tired but those close understand.
Don't be to hard on yourself you are dealing with enough, hugs your way  :hearts:

Offline Louise53

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 05:40:17 PM »
Thank you both for your helpful replies. I am so pleased I have found this site because everyone seems so kind and I don't feel quite so alone in my grief.  Patrick and I cuddled up in bed every night and we were always touching each other throughout the night. We loved each other and so that was how we slept.  I feel so alone in bed now.  I know that it is very early days but I think that if I could get enough sleep then I would be stronger during the long long days.  So thank you for tour advice.  And I send a loving energy to you both - I  feel that I am receiving it from you.

Offline Pam19

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Re: Strategies
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 07:47:55 PM »
Hi Louise,

I find if I set my alarm for about 7.30  - 8 and get up and do about an hours exercise a day, it really helps me sleep at night....I do, as many of us do, wake up in the middle of the night and try and work out what the hell happend (my husband was killed in an accident at work 5 months ago) but Iím sure Iím getting about 6 hours sleep a night.
In the first few weeks I could easily have stayed in bed in the morning, not necessarily to sleep but because I had no energy ...it was a struggle to get up at all to be honest...but I did and Iíve got myself into a routine and I just make myself get up...if I lie in then I end up staying up late and Iím back into a vicious cycle...

Some good advice given by the others on here...I hope you find what will work for you. Sending love and hugs  :hearts: