Saturday Morning Message: When Sleep Is Hard to Find
Author: Carol Lane
In this week’s Saturday Morning Message, survivors share strategies which help them when they are unable to sleep. When trauma comes into our lives, it throws our normal patterns into a tailspin. We have all been working with not only our individual grief, but also the National upset when COVID-19 came into our lives.
Recently, I was having trouble sleeping, so I turned to my TAPS family and found TAPS Talks Video: Catching Some ZZZ’s-Finding Rest When Stressed on the website. Heather Stang (MA, C-IATY), the presenter, shared many strategies for sleep. One of them was to light a candle at dusk, preferably with a scent you like, and leave it burning until you go to bed. The scent of the candle helps you relax, especially if reading a book, doing some relaxing yoga exercises or watching something on TV that doesn’t require a lot of mental energy.
Just remember to blow the candle out before you retire.
Mother of Bryon
Responses from Survivors to last week's question
What do you do when you find you are having difficulty sleeping?
From Elizabeth, spouse of Joseph: Most of the time I have little to no trouble sleeping. However, when I can't get back to sleep in the middle of the night, I often switch from the bed to the living room couch and turn on the TV. Joe was always a night owl, so I'm very used to sleeping with a little noise in the background. Being under a favorite quilt and hugging the little stuffed bunny I've slept with since he died helps, too.
From Kelsey, mother of Michael: When I'm restless at night, I get up and read or watch “Star Trek DS9”. If it's after 2 am., I make coffee and stay up.
From Sandra, mother of Joshua: I have several tools that I have taken away from Dr. Frank Campbell's “New to Grief” workshop. I attended the workshop during the TAPS Regional Survivor Military Seminar in Austin just a few months after the death of my son. I was having great difficulty sleeping and these tools have helped me tremendously. I turn on my little fan that hums softly, turn on my nature clock to rain or white noise, turn the temp down, and block out all light from the bedroom, so it is very dark. If that does not work, I get back up and go sit in the front room. Sometimes, I drink herbal tea or read a book or magazine. Every once in a while, I journal my thoughts that are racing around in my head. These are just a few tips and they have served me well. Sleep is crucial when grieving and it is part of self care.
If you would like to send a message commenting on one or all of the responses in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and your thoughts will be passed along to them. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.
Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message
Let’s learn a little more about our loved ones. This week’s question came from Perry, father of Christopher. He asks, “What is something your loved one did that made you proud?”. We look forward to reading about your loved one. If you have a picture that you would like to share, please send that as well to email@example.com.
The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. Questions for future messages are always welcome. You can reply to this message or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning. Thank you to everyone responding this week and to those who read this message.
Song for the Week
This week’s song, “I’ll Carry You Home”, sung by Trisha Yearwood, was sent by Leslie, mother of Eugene. She writes, “I thought this song was a good choice for our group. Between missing our loved ones and the COVID-19 pandemic, I think this says it all.” This song musically reminds all of us that we are never alone.
TAPS Spotify Playlist: A survivor once suggested we include a song of the week, which has now become a weekly feature. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a free playlist on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. The playlist is called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Songs of Love and Remembrance.
Next Week: We will feature a special recipe from a survivor and share why that recipe has a special meaning.
If you have a favorite recipe or song for this section, please send those to me at email@example.com and include a note about why the recipe or song is meaningful to you.
This webinar discusses the common questions people have related to dreams after loss and how they apply to one's grief.
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