A house fire can be very traumatic for those living in the home where the fire occurred. Particularly, if they were at home during the fire – and it can be even more stressful if the fire occurred at night while they were in bed.
Experiencing a stressful event like a house fire can make you feel anxious and insecure. These feelings can then prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If you, or someone in your family is having difficulty sleeping following a house fire, we have some sleep tips.
First off, it’s important for you to understand that everyone experiences trouble sleeping once in a while.
While this may be inconvenient, it’s often temporary.
However, when you don’t get enough sleep for an extended period of time your tiredness can impact every part of your life.
Physically, you might notice a decrease in your productivity and daily activities.
Emotionally, you may experience relationship problems or a change in your personality.
Mentally, a chronic sleep problem can create stress and anxiety.
The categories of sleep deprivation
There are three categories of sleep deprivation and insomnia.
The first stage, called “initial” insomnia, is when you first realize you’re having difficulty achieving a sleep state and occurs when it takes longer than a half an hour to fall asleep.
“Middle” insomnia is when you have difficulty staying asleep. Once awakened, you stay awake through the wee hours of the morning.
The most severe level of insomnia is “late” or “terminal” insomnia. This is when you wake up early in the morning and stay awake after sleeping less than 6 hours.
Now here are some tips that can help you sleep better following a stressful event like a house fire.
Tip #1 – Establish a bedtime routine
It is essential that your brain has consistency by creating a bedtime schedule so that your body can learn how to fall asleep without medication.
Create a sleep strategy to determine the best routine, and plan to follow the routine for one to two weeks before making any alterations.
Your sleep strategy should include:
- A regular bedtime
- A consistent wake time
- A record of any natural supplements you have tried
- Routine activities that are not stimulating such as brushing your teeth or reading
Moving through a regular bedtime process will signal to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. The desired end result of having a sleep strategy is regular sleep that’s restful and refreshing.
Plan to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, and don’t allow yourself to oversleep.
If you wake up the same time every day you’ll establish a routine. Avoid naps during the day because they may interrupt your sleep pattern.
You can’t bank extra hours of sleep, and trying to sleep later in the morning to make up for sleep lost overnight only leaves you feeling more tired.
Every person has different sleep habits, so be patient while you work through the process of finding the sleep plan that works best for you.
Tip #2 – Create an optimum sleep environment
In addition to a regular bedtime schedule, it is important to make your bedroom a place that is conducive to sleep.
The more comfortable and relaxing your sleep space is, the better your chances for falling asleep and staying asleep.
Consider these tips when creating your relaxing sleep atmosphere:
- Get rid of all annoyances and interruptions.
- Control the room temperature; cooler air (between 65 and 70 degrees F) is typically more comfortable for sleep, however, set the temperature to your preference.
- Allow for room ventilation, if possible. Crack a window slightly to allow for air flow. The circulating fresh air will help you breathe deeply, and provide oxygen that is essential for good sleep.
- Use ear plugs if there are noises outside the bedroom. There are many types of plugs that are specifically for sleeping, so if at first you don’t find the perfect pair, try another.
- Mask noises with a white noise machine if you decide to not wear earplugs. Machines are designed specifically for this purpose, or you can use a fan or air conditioner to provide the background noise. This will hide background sounds such as traffic or a barking dog.
- Play soothing background music.
- Your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock, relies on light and dark patterns to determine when to signal your body to fall asleep. Keep your room as dark as possible to help your body settle into a sleep state. Use mini-blinds and thick curtains to block light from windows. Try wearing an eye mask to block any remaining light.
- Having a clock by your bedside might be adding to your sleep problem. If you are watching the clock all night long, face it toward the wall so that you can’t see the time. Constantly looking at the clock only makes you think about sleep, and lack of sleep, which continues the cycle of sleeplessness.
- Consider a room humidifier for winter months when the air is dry.
- Use your room only for sleeping. Remove the TV, computer, stereo. Your mind should associate your bedroom only with sleep.
- Wear the most comfortable clothing you own. Non-constrictive clothing won’t wake you in the middle of the night.
As you can see here, there are many things you can do to help yourself, or a family member, sleep better following a house fire.
Each individual has their own unique combination of elements that make up their perfect sleep environment.
If one suggestion doesn’t work for you, make note and try another until you find out what works best for you.
Tip #3 – Get the right sleep support products
This can include pillows, bedding, the mattress and sleep clothes.
Your mattress should be smooth and firm so that your back is well-supported and your body is comfortable when lying down.
Make sure the mattress is supported completely by the bed frame to avoid sagging.
The mattress should also be appropriately sized for your body. Make sure you have a big enough bed so that you have enough space.
If you have a single or double bed, consider buying a larger queen or king sized mattress.
Use whatever style and type of pillow you find most comfortable. It doesn’t matter what it’s made of as long as it provides you with neck and head support.
The sheets and blankets should be clean and pressed. If you do not like feeling tucked in, loosen the sheets so that your feet can move around freely.
To find the right temperature for you, experiment with different blankets of a variety of weights and materials. Since a cool room is most conducive to sleep, keep the lower temperature in mind when selecting bedding.
Find a sleep position that is comfortable for you and lay in that position so that your body knows it’s time for sleep. Whether it is lying on your back, on your side, or on your stomach, your favorite position will help you instantly get relaxed.
These three tips can help you get back to sleeping regularly after a house fire.
Remove more stress by selling your fire-damaged house
To relieve even more stress from a house fire, sell your house to We Buy Fire Damaged Houses. The truth is after a house fire, another often big source of stress is repairing the damage.
This can involve having to hire a contractor, having to pay for repairs that can quickly go over budget and if you are staying in your home – dealing with repairmen in your home making noise early in the morning or at other times of the day.
A way to avoid all of this drama is to sell your house to We Buy Fire Damaged Houses. We pay all cash so that you can get your money fast and move on with your life. We also buy your house as-is so no repairs are needed.
Fill out the form below to see if your fire damaged house qualifies for a free quote.