Sleep Tips During Life Transitions

Life TransitionsJust because you are experiencing life transitions, doesn’t mean you should expect less sleep.  Illness, undiagnosed sleep disorders, pain, and medication can be the reasons one may have difficulties with sleep or suffer from sleep deprivation. For example, widowhood and dating, can be so stressful that sleep suffers.
Lack of sleep may be a way of life for some but, over time, it can affect your physical and mental health, relationships, and enjoyment of life.

“Adults require 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for maximum health benefits” says the Co-Director of Sleep Evaluation Services and Director of Clinical Neurophysiology at a major hospital.  He says you should avoid sleeping-in and follow these other helpful tips to get a restful night’s sleep every night.  This is especially important during key life transitions.

  • Turn the heat down a few degrees. Keep the sleeping environment cool and comfortable.
  • Establish a routine and relax. Approximately 30 minutes before going to bed, establish a nightly routine that can help you wind down and relax.  This may include taking a shower or reading a book and putting yourself to bed around the same time every night. Keep the bedroom dark and as quiet as possible.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. This is especially important during life transitions. Avoid taking-in large amounts of caffeine in the afternoon as it stays in your system for about12 hours. Do not use alcohol to help fall asleep. Drinking alcohol two hours before bedtime should be avoided as it takes time for it to metabolize, and sleep could be fragmented as a result.
  • Don’t eat or exercise before bedtime. A balanced diet and regular exercise is important for good health. Life transitions can give excuses not to exercises. Avoid large meals and rigorous exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime for a better night’s rest.
  • Get a comfortable mattress. Therapeutic and memory foam mattresses are designed to distribute and equalize pressure on the joints and spine. Memory foam mattresses cushion the body, providing extra comfort and decreasing the need to change sleeping positions frequently, reducing pain and providing a mre restful, deeper sleep.

During life transitions (like widowhood and dating), a critical component to wellness and recovery is good old-fashioned sleep – and lots of it!

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