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To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Sleep or lack of it seems to plague so many when we are grieving.  Either we can’t fall asleep or we fall asleep and wake up two or three hours later.  This has been discussed often but no one seems to have any real solutions. I have read many suggestions over the last five years and I still have not found any magic solutions.

 I’ve done several things that I thought would help. And I’m sure these have been followed by many of us. I offer these suggestions:

Drink a glass of warm milk before bedtime

Take a warm bath ~ use essential oils to relax tight muscles

Listen to guided meditations or music before retiring  

Keep a notebook and pen next to your bed in case you think of something ~ write it down so you won’t be obsessing over it while trying to sleep

Remove clutter from the sleeping area

Sleep in darkness

Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time ~ routine helps

Remove all electronics from the bedroom

Exercise (but not right before bedtime)

Limit your fluid intake a few hours before bed

Eat a lighter meal at dinner

No caffeine drinks before bed

Take naps early in the day

Not watching scary shows before bedtime – this includes all world news

Keep a fan on and wear eye masks and to keep feet warm wear socks

Sleep at the bottom of the bed – this means making the bed differently

Get up if you just can’t fall asleep after twenty minutes

Eat a light snack so you don’t go to bed hungry (cottage cheese with slices of banana or celery with peanut butter or cream cheese are my choices) I also like apple slices dipped in honey or a few cups of caramel popcorn works too, did I mention the organic cucumbers (seedless)

Drink wine early but not right at bedtime but do drink wine

Place essential oils on your nightstand – add plants that clean the air

Sleep in your hubby’s PJs – sleep on his side of the bed – keep one of his t-shirts inside your pillowcase – spray his cologne around the bed (yes, I still have his cologne in his medicine cabinet still) – shave with his razor (don’t have to do this often since most of the hair on my legs has been rubbed off due to aging)

Many things others have found or I have found do not work and the ones I refer to are too much alcohol (emphasis on too much), sleep aides (prescribed or otherwise for a long period of time ~ chance of becoming dependent but always talk to your doctors), coffee (bold) chocolate before bed, chocolate ice cream before bed, chocolate sauce on banana slices before bed, chips dipped in chocolate, pizza, chocolate (did I say chocolate before?), cleaning (help!), exercising right before bed, surfing the web, keeping a TV on when trying to fall asleep, counting sheep, counting dollar bills, just counting anything

If I listen to music when I’m trying to fall asleep I usually end up singing along and if I don’t remember the words I have to get up and Google them.

Each one of us is different so what works for one of us may not work for the other

 So, what have you tried that works or doesn’t?

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I love my Lipton Iced Tea (with Stevia). I used to drink it in the evening after work and it would keep me awake at night. I have switched to it being my morning drink.Go to sleep at the same time each night. and make sure I can get enough sleep to wake up before the alarm goes off. - Shalom

 

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I don't have a hard time falling asleep, but if/when I wake up I can't go back to sleep.  My anxiety kicks in at its worst in the middle of the night, I can't shut my brain off.  You've heard of the Sin Eater?  I could be the Worrier.  I could take on the worries of the world in the middle of the night.  I've tried about everything to shut my brain off.  I plan on talking to my doctor about this in October, as I'm on anti-anxiety medicine but it doesn't seem to be helping with the middle of the night brain shut off.

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7 hours ago, kayc said:

I don't have a hard time falling asleep, but if/when I wake up I can't go back to sleep.  My anxiety kicks in at its worst in the middle of the night, I can't shut my brain off.  You've heard of the Sin Eater?  I could be the Worrier.  I could take on the worries of the world in the middle of the night.  I've tried about everything to shut my brain off.  I plan on talking to my doctor about this in October, as I'm on anti-anxiety medicine but it doesn't seem to be helping with the middle of the night brain shut off.

I speak and Meditate on Philippians 4:6-7 " Be anxious for NOTHING. by prayer and supplication make your request to God and the Peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your hear and mind through Jesus Christ". 

Almost twenty years ago, God healed my Acid-Re-flux disease from memorizing and repeating this prayer.  After six months, I noticed, I no longer needed the medicine or the antacid tablets anymore.  

Every time I am anxious and upset, I strive to remind myself of this. "Cast your cares on God for he CARES for you".  God loves it when we ask Him for help according to His Word. 

Yes, I still worry at times, but I strive to do it less and less.  "Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!" - Shalom

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The one that comes to me in the middle of the night is and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  But it still doesn't put me back to sleep.  GAD runs in my family and even scripture doesn't turn it off.  Believe me, if there were a way, I'd have done it by now.

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I fall asleep very quickly by reading a book. I start with a book and two pages later I'm falling asleep. It upsets me, I used to be a passionate reader. I stopped reading 15 years ago, for no reason. I don't know why.

My problem is if I wake up in the middle of the night, or early in the night. No book can put me back to sleep. My constant thought is my grief and the tons of things I should do, I cannot do, I may do...I fill my head in a second and my sleep is over....

 

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Oh man, can I relate!

 

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I have several audio books that I listen to.  

My husband, such a great guy, he used to read to me at night or if there wasn't a book he liked he would make up stories. His voice was soothingly deep and it didn't take long before I would drift off into a restful sleep.  I also felt so safe and loved.  However; since his suicide, my sleep has not been as restful as it was but I am able to sleep and return to sleep if I awaken during the night.  My racing mind is able to focus on the story or the voice and I fall asleep.  It's funny that I sleep so much better during the daytime than I do at night.  I think the darkness is less safe feeling and so I don't fully relax until the day starts to lighten.

I listen to the disks over and over again.  Some disks are almost worn out now.  Subject matter doesn't matter much to me but the voice and rhythm of the reader does.  I have a largish collection of cd's, mp3's, and some things from the internet and I am so thankful that they are working for me.

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