How to sleep when you are feeling sad?
When life has moments in which it seems that you are walking uphill on a mountain that has no end, resting is almost completely altered.
The loss of loved ones, depressive episodes or simply bad spells of days or weeks with a low mood cause us to experience little emotional calm. This triggers our alert state to stay active, which makes it hard to sleep.
What can I do during the day to sleep better?
The healthy habits that are carried out during the day directly affect the quality of sleep that you will have at night. Therefore, it is important to implement some positive routines in our day to day to guarantee a good rest.
In a previous article we talked about Mindfulness, a stream of meditation that involves paying full attention to the present and letting the emotions flow as they appear. When one is sad, repressing that sadness or pretending that it is not there will not make it disappear, but will accumulate it until it comes to light at another time. One of the most common mistakes is to mask pain with happiness instead of trying to complement them. It's natural to be sad, but a positive part is needed (although at first it my cost us or even seem false) to be able to get out of a bad step. Mindfulness helps precisely in that: it calms reactions to unpleasant situations and makes us connect with ourselves.
Maintaining a positive attitude is very difficult, but it is necessary. Something that can be done is to repeat in our heads that, despite feeling bad emotionally, that is not going to prevent us from resting properly. Thus, the brain believes what it is told and will be more likely to tune out when it's time to sleep.
During the day it is also important to develop emotional bonds and talk with trustworthy people with whom you can comfortably vent. In the more social aspect, it has also been recorded that acts of solidarity and generosity create an inner peace that improves rest. Generosity can also benefit oneself.
Physical activity is also essential for the body to function properly.
What can I do just before going to bed?
To induce sleep as soon as possible, the first thing you should try is to have your body and mind relaxed. Some routines of writing, reading, or listening to music just before bed help a lot in calming us down.
It is essential to have some regular sleep schedules: try to sleep every day more or less at the same time and the amount necessary to be able to function correctly.
Meditation before bed also helps relaxation. You can evoke calming images that allow you to feel in a space of peace, like the waves of the sea, a forest or any place where your mind goes to disconnect. Something that also helps in maintaining a more positive attitude is being grateful and thanking for what you have right before bed (either writing it down or just thinking about it): this helps especially on days when you feel like there's nothing to be thankful for.
Disconnect from the screens: the light they give off are inhibitors of melatonin (one of the sleep hormones). If you can, try to turn off your cell phone an hour before bed, talk to your closest people and have someone you trust who can help you or who will answer the phone in case of a crisis. If you have pets and you can sleep with them, do it: this helps to generate stronger bonds with your animals and to feel protected and accompanied.
We hope these tips help you sleep better.
We put at your disposal a series of telephone numbers that will contact people who can provide you with psychological help 24 hours a day in the event of a crisis. You're not alone.
Psychological help phone: 900 124 365 (Community of Madrid)
Hope Telephone Association: 914 590 055 (National) or find the number of your nearest center at https://telefonodelaesperanza.org/contacto.