Normal sleep patterns can be affected when you are grieving a loss. You may:
- Find it difficult to fall asleep
- Feel that constant thoughts of your baby or specific issues related to your loss prevent you from falling asleep
- Find yourself waking up frequently during the night
- Sleep fitfully or have disturbing dreams
- Wake up not feeling refreshed
- Feel you are sleeping too much
Sleep is an important part of the recovery process but it is common for people who are grieving to experience difficulty sleeping or notice changes in their sleep patterns. For most people, this is temporary and the issue resolves itself over time.
How you can help yourself
Engage in activities that help relax you:
- Drinking chamomile tea
- Drinking warm milk and honey
- Writing in a journal
- Reading or meditating
- Eliminating screen time for at least 30-60 minutes before bed
- Avoiding caffeine, sugar and carbohydrates for several hours before bed
- Practicing gratitude
Whether your problem is falling asleep or staying asleep, try not to force sleep by staying in bed, but rather get up and do something relaxing. This could mean listening to music, reading, doing a puzzle or practicing yoga. Try to avoide electronic devices as these may be more stimulating than relaxing.
Sleeplessness can be caused by grief, but it can also be a symptom of depression.
Call your healthcare provider if
- Your sleep problems persist
- Your sleep interferes with your ability to function
- Difficulty sleeping is accompanied by other signs of depression.