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I can't sleep

(11 Posts)
vvviola Fri 19-May-17 00:27:02

DDad died suddenly 2 weeks ago (complications of surgery followed by 3 horrendous days in ICU until they confirmed no brain activity). He was a fit and active 71 year old. We are all shell shocked

I'm supporting my DM who is in bits - I did a lot of the funeral planning and now am helping with all the admin. I haven't had time to react much myself.

Except I can't sleep. Or at least I can't bring myself to go to bed, because I know that if I struggle to sleep I'll start thinking about the last few minutes (some reflex stuff that gave me a dreadful fright).

So I'm sitting up watching trash on Netflix or reading. And then when I eventually go to bed, I can't get up in the morning or I go through the day like a zombie (which isn't much help to DM, and means I'm ratty with DH and DC).

DH can't handle medical conversations so I can't really talk to him about it. And I'm being DM's support so can't talk to her.

So I have to carry on not sleeping.

MountainDweller Fri 19-May-17 02:57:08

Just wanted to give you a hand hold. My Dad died suddenly nearly 4 weeks ago and the funeral was Monday. I am struggling to sleep too, although I've had a couple of nights when I've been so exhausted I have conked out. I just have so much going round my head, when I go to bed I feel overcome with grief. I found I held it together quite well up until the funeral and since then I have been a complete wreck. I'm sorry it was a horrible death. My Dad's was pretty bad too and he deteriorated so suddenly that I didn't make it to see him while he was still conscious.

Could you ask your doctor for something to help you sleep? I've heard they can be pretty good in these circumstances. Sometimes I find a light audiobook or guided meditation helps me drift off. flowers for you and I hope you get a good night's sleep soon.

barrygetamoveonplease Fri 19-May-17 04:28:12

Just keep going as best you can and don't worry. Whatever form your grieving/coping takes, including sleeplessness, when you are ready your body will adjust.
Some people find this works to still the mind for sleep.

Bodypumpaddict Fri 19-May-17 05:52:10

flowers for you

Rinkydinkypink Fri 19-May-17 06:09:14

When my fil died it took me weeks to sleep again. Sorry but it's all a very natural part of the grieving process. If you get really bad the doctors will give you a short course of sleeping tablets.

I'm really sorry your having such a tough time.

mylaptopismylapdog Fri 19-May-17 06:32:53

Treat yourself to a bath with some nice bubbles and change into clothes that you would normally sleep in then get into a comfortable position and just then just concentrate on your breathe and observe how you feel. Grief is exhausting and exposes very raw feelings so remember that and have compassion for yourself, I am sure your Mum will realise you are doing your best and be grateful for your care. The Victorians wore black for their period of mourning which in retrospect may have been a useful signal to the mourners and others that this was a difficult time and understanding was required from others. You and you family will find a way through and ways to remeber your Dad and his signature qualities. Sorry for your loss, take care.

ACloudCoosHi Fri 19-May-17 06:50:57

Oh you poor love. I've been there, but with more of a 'run up' IYSWIM to my DFs death.

Don't try and fight the feelings. Accept that you'll feel pretty shit, sad, angry etc. Do what you need to, to look after YOU for the time being. My DH was pretty hopeless with me, so I leant on friends who'd been in the same position to just let me talk.

I also - after a couple of months - got some counselling which has helped hugely... especially the traumatic period my DF was in hospital. It was so helpful to talk it through with someone. My DM did the same, and we are now able to talk about DF together.

I hate the expression that Time Heals, but it's true. It's only 6 months since my DF died, so we have more grieving to do, but we're working on it.

As for sleep? Warm bath, pjs, and sometimes just a good cry. GP could be useful, or try chamomile tea, or a herbal nighttime remedy. You will eventually sleep... that's for sure.

vvviola Fri 19-May-17 16:54:51

Thanks everyone. It's good to know it's partly to be expected (I think I kind of knew that, but it's hard to be rational at the moment).

Will give the camomile tea and a warm bath a try before going down the sleeping tablets route.

I'm hoping to get out running again this weekend too - I've only run once since the whole thing started, and coincidentally that was one of the nights I actually did sleep ok, so that might help. And even if it doesn't I'll have managed a bit of head space for myself.

Bodypumpaddict Sat 27-May-17 20:23:29

How are you doing OP? Have you managed to get out for a run? smile

vvviola Sun 28-May-17 18:55:27

I'm doing ok thanks.

I'm managing by doing the "wear yourself out as much as possible and then you'll sleep" method. And that has included a few runs (and those were the most restful nights sleeps --I'm turning into one of those new converts to running who drives everyone mad--).

I'm not sure it's the most mentally healthy way of approaching it, but at least I'm getting sleep for the moment. I'll probably have to face some of this head on at some stage.

Bodypumpaddict Sun 28-May-17 19:23:12

I think it's natural to go through stages in grief when you want to just keep busy.

I think you do have to face grief head on and work through it but it's v early for you yet and you'll do it when you're ready

Well done on the runs

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