Trauma is generally a person’s emotional response to a terrifying experience like an accident, murder, threat to life, assault, etc. It is something that causes distress, feeling of helplessness, and overwhelms their ability to cope up.
Trauma can be caused by events in the near past or even something as further as an event in your childhood. For example, lots of people who were abused as children lose their sense of emotional balance.
Every person reacts to trauma differently. There is no one response to trauma, but many people have similar physical and emotional symptoms. Insomnia is one of them.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition when a person gets stuck in psychological shock, unable to process and move on with the trauma.
Many people who have PTSD have trouble sleeping at night. It may be because they are unable to sleep at all, or nightmares keep waking them up.
Even if you take the best sleeping pills, it gets a little difficult for the people who have PTSD or recovering from trauma to get a night of proper sleep. If you are one of them, go ahead and read more.
Eight Tips to Overcome Trauma and Sleep Better
Exercising helps a person sleep better, and it is a proven fact. Working out increases the quality of sleep. It helps maintain your circadian rhythm, and your deep sleep time increases.
Exercise and movements help increase the blood flow in your body, act as a pain relief resulting in an increased amount of oxygen in the blood, body, and brain.
You can also try moderate-intensity workouts before sleeping. It helps your body and mind get rid of the stress from the trauma. However, intense workouts can increase your heart rate and can delay sleep onset.
After a traumatic event, you might want to stay away from people and isolate yourself from others. Talking to people might remind you of that accident, and in your brain, you would want to forget something like this ever happened.
This denial is typical but not healthy. Do not isolate yourself from people who care about you. This is when you should ask for their help, share what you are feeling, and let them comfort you.
If your friends and family live away, you can always go out and make new friends. You can visit support groups which help people in trouble by letting them talk their heart out.
Follow Bedtime Routine
Your body clock knows when it is time to sleep and get up. Irregular sleep patterns make it hard for your body to set that time. Try to get up at a similar time around the morning every day and simultaneously go to bed.
During weekends or day-offs, many people tend to sleep a lot. Prepare a sleep routine before you go to bed.
For example, if you go to bed by 10:30, you can make a routine to have your dinner by 9:30, listen to some music while you walk till 10, and brush your teeth by 10:15 and be in bed soon after.
Once this becomes a habit, you’ll have little trouble falling asleep after 10:30 because your body clock will have adjusted to your routine. Lots of people who have insomnia find this very helpful.
Having a bedroom environment that makes you feel relaxed and makes you want to take rest is essential if you’re going to sleep peacefully. Sleeping in a dirty room that smells a lot will be a lot more complicated than sleeping in a fresh, clean room.
Use comfortable pillows and mattresses, fresh sheets, and even room fresheners to make your space feel cozier and a place where you can relax. Sleep hygiene is crucial for people who can’t sleep properly.
Limit Day Time Naps
Sleeping during the day might affect your sleep at night. A short nap during the evening can affect your sleep cycle. However, short naps for about 20 minutes can help you feel relaxed and energized.
What you need to do is regulate your naps properly. Take short naps of about 20 minutes in the early afternoon. Try not to nap late in the evening.
Napping for a more extended period can make you feel irritated because your body has to wake up from deep sleep quickly.
Ask for Support
There is always someone in your friend circle and your family who you can talk to about anything. Tell them your problems and what you think might be causing them.
If it is nightmares that keep you up all night, tell them about it. Share whatever is on your mind. Ask for your friends’ support, and they’ll help you out.
Even if you have nobody to count on, meeting new people is always a good idea. With the knowledge that you will not meet that person again, and their judgment won’t affect you, it becomes easier talking about anything.
Self-regulate Your Nerves
Trauma is nothing but a stimulus your nerves portray in response to sudden distress. Therefore, it is possible to stimulate your nerves in different ways to feel relaxed and stress-relieved.
Meditation and breathing exercises are helpful. With the exercise of slow, profound breathing, one may reduce this involuntary hyper-arousal and be more relaxed when it is time to sleep.
Relax while you are in bed, breathe slowly and through your abdomen like a baby. Do this for 10 minutes every day, and you will feel that the time you took to fall asleep has significantly reduced.
Seek Professional Therapy
Insomnia can always be cured if you take proper professional help. You don’t need to be experiencing severe insomnia to be seeking professional help.
A therapist will help you target the right issues about your particular case of insomnia, even if it is an acute one. Additionally, your therapist will help you in learning how to manage stress and anxiety too.
You can look for group therapy sessions if that suits you. In every circumstance, your therapist will operate collaboratively beside you. They’ll make sure that any recommended adjustments are manageable, and you have everything you require to have a sound sleep.
Stress and trauma are two sworn enemies of your sleep and mental health. Consult a therapist, ask your friends and family to help. Short-term solutions, like sleeping pills, are not safe and are never recommended.
Your sleep and health are in your hands, and you have to make the right decisions for yourself. Modify your sleep schedule and practices to sleep better and watch yourself grow.
Also Read- Why is Stress Management Important?