My friend and colleague, Kath McCormack, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and founder of Seattle’s Healing Center ( She has been assisting others in harnessing the healing power of A2Z’s Letter Z ~ ZZZZZZ (sleep) for two decades. She started gathering new sleep techniques for herself years ago, after her young husband died and she began raising their two small children as a solo parent.

Here Kath shares her story and insights with the A2Z community:


Grief and restful sleep do not always go together. When I was newly widowed, with two small children, sleep would often elude me. Or sometimes I would be able to fall asleep, but would wake up an hour or two later and not be able to fall asleep again. I have been a grief therapist for the last 25 years and a vast majority of my clients have struggled with sleep issues. Sleep is such an important component for healing and yet it is often so difficult to achieve, especially in the early days. Here are a few natural sleep aids that I initially suggest. As with everything, take what resonates and leave the rest! 1) Rescue Remedy is an over-the-counter Bach Flower Remedy that can be helpful. Most health food stores carry it. 2) Often a relaxation CD at bedtime or some gentle music, ocean sounds, or white noise can help. 3) Some people find that sleeping with something comforting also helps- a body pillow, stuffed animal, an item of clothing from the person who has died. 4) There are several simple techniques that can also be helpful such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping) and self-hypnosis. 5) I suggest clients try to avoid alcohol, especially right before bed. It might help you fall asleep initially, but it often causes middle of the night insomnia. Also remember that alcohol is a depressant. 6) Try not to use your cell phone, computer or kindle at least an hour before bed. 7) Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Remember that you are doing the best that you can. Eventually sleep will return.

Kath, with her two small children… now grown-up!