As nearly everyone who has lost a loved one will tell you, all aspects of life are dramatically altered in the wake of their passing. This can affect your social life and even your sleep quality. While you can’t ease the pain of loss, you can do some things to get better sleep. Here are a few tried-and-true methods.


  1. Paint the walls

If your bedroom walls are bright and loud, it might be time to paint. Brighter colors typically will make you more energized and restless. Gentle, muted colors are one proven way to create a good sleep environment in the bedroom and promote rest. Stick to calm tones, whether it’s shades blue or earthier tones. Painting your bedroom will also give you a chance to start fresh in your life and rearrange the furniture in a different way.


  1. Get a new mattress

If the bed you shared with your spouse feels too empty, replacing the mattress can make a difference, especially if it’s an older and larger model. Mattress shopping might not be a high priority right now, so consider a bed-in-a-box-option to make this process an easier one. While the choices are hard to narrow, start with your sleeping position and firmness preference, then move on to reviews. If making too many decisions feels difficult, a mattress like Purple can be a good choice. These models, while unique in feel, provide a nice combination of comfort and firmness while giving hot sleepers a bit of extra coolness. Whatever brand you choose, make sure it’s a reputable company that offers free delivery and a friendly return policy. 


  1. Don’t bring in food

Food has a big effect on your sleeping patterns. Foods that are considered “comfort foods” are loaded with carbohydrates and high levels of fat, and can alter the body’s natural sleep process. Try to avoid these foods at least a few hours before bedtime, and avoid bringing snacks into your bedroom. Aside from possibly making a mess you’ll need to clean up later, stray crumbs can attract insects and other undesirable critters.

  1. Try a weighted blanket

According to NBC News, weighted blankets are a valuable bedtime tool. They have been proven time and time again to help with rest when individuals are stressed or restless. These blankets can feel like an extra-tight hug and calm you down. They also prevent tossing and turning in your sleep, which in turn can make your sleep more restful. 


  1. Use a white noise machine

While there are all kinds of new gadgets being developed to improve sleep, there’s a reason that the noise-canceling capabilities of white noise machines remain important for sleep-deprived individuals around the world. White noise helps mute sleep-disturbing noises, from leaking faucets to the house settling to the howling wind outside. This can help you focus more on the task at hand: relaxing and falling asleep gently.


  1. Only use the bedroom for sleep

Ideally, your bedroom should be for sleep only. Many experts recommend leaving the TV and laptop outside your room, reserving it for the sole task of sleeping. You might also want to avoid reading before bed, but if a book calms you, then do what works. Make your bedroom a more inviting place to sleep so your body reacts to falling asleep readily.


  1. Have a nightly routine

Building a bedtime routine is an activity that starts well before the act of preparing for bed. If you start your nightly routine about 30 minutes before bed, you can take time for a warm bath, add some light stretching, and meditate or journal before settling in. Your body will have relaxed much more by the time you climb into bed.

If you’re still struggling with sleep, a noticeable improvement in sleep quality can sometimes be achieved by just decreasing electronic use before bed. It will take some practice and you won’t always have the most perfect night of sleep. However, it will soon become a habit if you keep practicing, and you’ll be able to enjoy a good night’s rest again before you know it.


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