Top Tips for Stopping Insomnia (not sleeping)

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One of the most common effects  of grief is not being able to sleep or reduced sleep quality, although this does not affect everyone.  A lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep makes daily life feel more difficult.  When we sleep well, our bodies can repair and heal more easily, and we are more able to think clearly, make decisions and cope emotionally.

We've put together our top tips for getting better sleep. This has been compiled by young people whose siblings have also died, and also professional advice from the NHS. 

1 - Try to relax

This is easier said than done. Keep noise to a minimum, refrain from using your phone or laptop close to bed time and you might want to play relaxing music. 

If you're feeling stressed, its harder to sleep. You might feel less stressed by speaking to people about your feelings.

2 - Write out your worries

It helps a lot of us to write out our worries in a notebook we keep beside our beds. You might also try writing a letter to your sibling, explaining how you feel. You might also want to keep a 'sleep diary' writing out your feelings and at what times you try to sleep.

3 - Sleep at regular intervals

Keep a regular sleep pattern - waking up and going to bed at a similar time each day. This can be hard to do, especially if you spend a lot of time up at night thinking. Getting in to a routine will help your body go to sleep better. 

4 - Exercise

Exercise during the day. Playing outside or going to the gym don't just help you stay healthy - they also act as great 'de-stressers'. Try to avoid intense exercise before bed, however, as this might keep you up longer. 

5 - Do something else

If you're struggling to sleep constantly, try and preoccupy yourself and do something else until you feel sleepy. Sitting their worrying can often be worst than finding another activity to do until you fall asleep. 

If this fails, speak to a doctor

If not being able to sleep persists, arrange a appointment with your GP who will discuss other options. 

After, you'll be sleeping like this...

Also see our 'Looking after you' section for more information on how improving your physical well being might be able to assist you with emotions.