If you have chronic insomnia that is happening more than a couple of times a week and is negatively impacting your health you may have to get some help.
One of the first steps is to keep a sleep diary:
- Record the time you go to sleep.
- The amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
- The time you wake up in the morning.
- The number of times you woke up while sleeping.
- The number of naps if any you took during the day.
- Amount of alcohol and caffeine taken before bed time.
- Any exercise – time and amount.
Once insomnia sets in a widow may develop anxiety about her ability to sleep normally again. This anxiety can set off a vicious cycle of disrupted sleep, fearful thinking and worrying.
If your insomnia is getting worse you and your doctor may decide to consider prescription medications to help you sleep. Use them wisely: try to limit their use to several times per week or less and never exceed recommended doses.
If you prefer to choose natural products to induce sleep, you have some options that include hormones, herbal remedies and aromatherapy.
Helpful tips to get some healthy sleep:
- Try to get at least 30 minutes of natural sunlight.
- Don’t nap.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine later in the evening.
- Before bedtime get into a restful mood – soothing music, warm bath, chamomile tea.
- Set a regular sleep schedule.
- Keep your bedroom quiet and restful.
- If you don’t fall asleep after 15 minutes get back up and return to bed when sleepy.
Sleep needs tend to change as you age and being a grieving widow doesn’t help but you can reclaim your right to a peaceful night’s sleep. If you don’t sleep soundly you are at increased risk of a shortened life span. To live longer and better you need to get your sleep.