It’s 1:00 am and you are still staring at the ceiling, even though you went to bed three hours ago. Although you are exhausted, your body and mind are revved up and you cannot fall asleep.
Grief is hard! and one of the most frustrating symptoms is insomnia.
In this newsletter, I provide you with some resources that make it easier to get those zzz’s which are so necessary for emotional healing and integration when you are grieving.
Please note that the resources here are a short-term coping mechanism. When you have the internal resources, please spend some time attending to the root cause of sleep disruption which is grief using practices like crying sessions, grief support groups, books, podcasts, or therapy.
Please note that I have included products that I think can support you in your grief journey and if you choose to purchase any of these, I'll earn some coffee money which I promise to use while making helpful content like this one for you.
- Headspace: Great for meditations that help you fall asleep
- Insight Timer: Great for meditations as well as sleep music and some breathwork
- Calm: Has a library of material like relaxing stories, music, and meditations to help you fall asleep
- Yours App: This is one of the easiest sleep apps to use and includes sleep
- Sleep Cycle: This app helps you track and analyze your sleep and wakes you up with a gentle alarm
- Sleep Sounds by Sleep Pillow: Provides high-quality ambient sounds that have been premixed to enhance sleep
- Better Sleep: Allows you to create a personalized sleep experience
- Slumber: Helps with insomnia and has a large library of sleep-inducing stories, meditations, and soundscapes
- Tide: Sleep and nap with the sounds of nature
Natural Supplements & Teas
Here are some natural sleep aids that are either plant-based or already present in our bodies through our diet. Here are some additional natural sleep aids from the Sleep Foundation
- Magnesium: Many people swear by their sleep regimen which includes a nightly dose of magnesium for sleep. You can try this Magnesium supplement drink or any other choice.
- Chamomile Tea: This is probably the most known tea for sleep and has been around for centuries and has been used traditionally to treat insomnia and reduce anxiety
- Lavender Tea: This is another plant known for its soothing qualities and is used as essential oils, bath soaps, and teas to calm the nervous system
- Valerian Root Tea: This is a powerful sleep aid with woody flavors and its use goes all the way back to the 2nd century and has been known to treat insomnia
- Passionflower Tea: This is a lesser-known floral tea that induces sleep by instilling calm and relaxing muscles
- Lemon Grass Tea: Lemongrass helps hormone regulation and stimulates the secretion of hormones that help you sleep. It is particularly good if you experience restlessness before bed because of its sedative properties and the release of serotonin which lulls you into a state of relaxed contentment.
- Banana Tea: Try this banana peel recipe an hour before bed. This tea can help calm your nervous system and prepare you for deep sleep because it contains Magnesium and potassium
- Floating by James Anthony Walker (Insight Timer – 60 minutes)
- Deep Sleep by Chris Collins (Insight Timer – 70 minutes)
- Rain and Thunder sound Therapy by Desh (Insight Timer – 90 minutes)
- Delta Waves and Oceanic Sounds for Deep Rest by LotusOpus (Insight Timer – 60 minutes) – helps you get back to bed when you wake up in the middle of the night
- Sacral Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowls by Sonic Yogi (Insight Timer – 31 minutes)– helps soothe emotional overwhelm
- Yoga Nidra for Sleep & Rest by The Stillpoint (Insight Timer – 30 minutes)
- Nature Sounds: Cascading Mountain Stream by Owen Jenkins (Insight Timer – 30 minutes)
- Deep Sleep Music - 1.5Hz Binaural Beats for Sleep by Aaron Darrell (Insight Timer – 60 minutes)
Sleep Meditations & Bedtime Stories
- Yoga Nidra: Melatonic Magic sleep meditation by Jennifer Piercy (Insight Timer – 20 minutes)
- Breathing visualization meditation: Breathing into Sleep by Bethany Auriel-Hagan (Insight Timer – 18 minutes) – this is helpful for physical anxiety
- Surrender to Stillness Meditation by Sarah Blondin (Insight Timer – 30 minutes)
- Relax into Sleep: Guided Practice by Mary Maddux (Insight Timer – 18 minutes)
- The Grounded Sleep Podcast: Has multiple meditations for sleep
- Nothing Much Happens: Bedtime stories to help you sleep
- Breathwork for deep sleep by Jamie Clements (Insight Timer – 10 minutes)
- 4-7-8 Breathwork: Helps calm down your nervous system (for physical anxiety)
- Box – Breathing: Helps calm down your mind when it is full of chatter and worries
- Alternate Nose Breathing: Calm anxiousness and nervousness before sleep or if you wake up from a nightmare in the middle of the night
ASMR stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”. ASMR videos send comforting sounds through headphones that produce tingling and a relaxing sensation in your body.
You can search for ASMR on youtube and find thousands of videos. Here is a good one you can start with.
Yoga for sleep
Here are some yoga videos you can use to practice yoga asanas which are known to activate the rest and digest cycle of the nervous system and induce sleep. Many studies have has shown that people who do yoga before bed find it easier to flow asleep.
Sleep Products & Aids
- Grounding products: There are many grounding products on the market and many people have confirmed that the calming energy induced by these products helps you go to sleep. Examples are grounding sheets, mats, bracelets, etc.
- Weighted blanket: Weighted blankets have been known to improve sleep by soothing anxiety and inducing calmness. It follows concepts to that from deep pressure stimulation. You can try the Luna weighted blanket or any other one on the market.
- Dodow Sleep Aid: This is a metronome with a light system that teaches you how to sleep naturally. This might be good if you wake up in the middle of the night and have a difficult time going back to sleep. Note that it might not be for everyone, so read some of the reviews and see if it will work for you.
- Aromatherapy Diffuser: Diffuse some essential oils like lavender, chamomile, bergamot, or cedarwood which have been known to calm the nervous system and induce sleep. Try the InnoGear essential oil diffuser which is an amazon best seller
- Casper Glow Light: There have been a lot of reviews about this nightlight that helps you wind down naturally and fall asleep
- CBD Sleep spray: CBD has become a prevalent sleep aid and many people recommend it because it helps you sleep without the grogginess that is present with other sleeping pills.
I hope some of the resources provided here will help improve your sleep and give you the restful space you need to grieve and heal.