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Can’t Sleep After a Breakup: Best 11 tips for falling asleep

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Can’t Sleep After a Breakup? You’re not alone. The sudden loss of intimacy, the emotional upheaval and physical changes in your life can all affect sleep quality.

It can be hard to sleep after a breakup. The pain of the loss, the fear and anxiety about what’s going to happen next, or even just the discomfort of sleeping alone in your bed are all reasons that people have trouble getting a good night’s rest.

Can't Sleep After A Breakup

There are some things you can do, though! I’m going to share with you some tips on how to sleep better after a breakup so that you can start healing sooner. 

Why can’t I sleep after a breakup?

It’s common for people to have trouble sleeping after a breakup because their sleep is “disrupted” by the emotional upheaval that occurs as you deal with the aftermath of your loss. There are other reasons people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, such as:

1) Fear:

You might be afraid you’ll never get over your ex or that you’ll never find someone new. This fear can keep you awake at night, thinking about what might go wrong in the future and replaying past arguments and hurtful moments in your head.

2) Sadness:

If things didn’t end well between you and your ex, or if there was a lot of anger involved in the breakup, then you may be sad as well as angry. That sadness might make it hard to fall asleep since it’s common for sad people to want to lie still instead of tossing and turning all night long (and research shows that sleep is healthier when people move around during their sleep).

3) Physical Changes:

Hormonal changes brought on by the breakup could also explain why it’s hard to sleep. In addition to being sad and angry, you might be dealing with feelings of loss, withdrawal or loneliness, as well as changes in your appetite or cravings for unhealthy foods (we’ll talk about these changes in a minute).

 Physical Changes
Physical Changes

Cortisol is one hormone that experiences big changes after a breakup. This stress hormone is elevated when under pressure or experiencing high anxiety levels, like after a breakup. Elevated cortisol can cause physical discomfort and disrupt normal sleep patterns too.

4) Pregnancy:

One final reason why sleep quality could suffer after a breakup is a pregnancy! If you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant, it’s not surprising that your sleep might suffer as you try to adjust to the changes in your body and start preparing for the new arrival.

5) Hormonal Changes:

The physical effects of a breakup are significant enough, but hormones play a huge role in how we feel after a breakup. 

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A study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that participants’ brains looked at photos of their exes experienced a spike in activity in the areas dealing with physical pain, social rejection, and emotional distress (source).

In addition to this spike in negative feelings, high cortisol can also be a culprit. This stress hormone has been linked to many problems, including weight gain, anxiety and hyperactivity, and sleep problems.

6) Physical symptoms:

You might have headaches, stomachaches or other physical aches that keep you up at night. These symptoms can directly result from the stress and anxiety of your breakup, or they can be caused by drinking too much alcohol to deal with your pain (alcohol is known to interfere with sleep). Whatever the cause of these physical symptoms, they can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep.

11 tips for falling asleep after a breakup

These tips are not only helpful for getting you back to sleep when you wake during the night, but they will also help you get a better night’s rest in general.

If you’ve just gone through a breakup, it can be hard to get back into your old sleep schedule. Here are 11 tips for getting back on track and falling asleep after a breakup: 

1) Get up:

If your bed is uncomfortable, or if you’ve had a nightmare that left you scarred, then try going into another room to lie down and get back to sleep. Many people find it easier to fall back asleep after a momentary wake up when they’re lying in a different place than where they fell asleep.

2) Do Something Relaxing:

Engaging in an activity that you enjoy can be the best way to get your mind off of stressful thoughts or negative feelings and put you into the relaxed, sleepy state you need to go back into the land of dreams.

3) Stay on a Sleep Schedule:

Your body gets used to sleeping and waking up at certain times each day. This means that if your sleep schedule is thrown off because of a bad night’s rest or some other reason, it can be hard to get back on track – especially when you’re already dealing with the upheaval of a breakup.

 Stay on a Sleep Schedule
Stay on a Sleep Schedule

If you can, try to go to bed and wake up simultaneously each day for several weeks to get your sleep schedule back on track.

4) Write About Your Feelings:

People deal with sadness or anxiety by writing down their thoughts about what has been bothering them. If you think that writing about your feelings will help you fall back asleep, a great way to do this is through the practice of journaling.

5) Exercise in the Morning:

Not only will a morning workout wake you up and put you into a good mood for the day ahead, but it can also be a great way to get your heart rate up and fall asleep faster at night.

6) Avoid Caffeine:

Drinking alcohol or having a cup of coffee after dinner might seem like the best way to stay awake when you’re having trouble sleeping, but these are two things that will keep you from falling asleep for the night. If you think that you can’t fall asleep without a cup of coffee or tea, try having it earlier in the day instead.

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7) Pay attention to your diet:

Did you know that the way you eat can affect your ability to fall asleep? In addition to avoiding Caffeine, eating a large meal before bedtime is something that many people do because they think it will help them sleep better.

Pay attention to your diet

However, in reality, eating a big meal close to bedtime (especially one loaded with carbohydrates) can cause you to have an irregular sleep and wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed.

8) Journal Before Bed:

Journaling is a great tool for getting through a breakup. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try writing down your thoughts and feelings about what’s bothering you before bedtime. This is an easy way to get it all out of your head without having to think about the person who broke your heart as you do it.

9) Watch something funny before bed:

Watching something funny before bed can be one of the best ways to relax and get a good night’s sleep. A love story might make you miss your ex, while a tearjerker will cause you to think about things that are no longer yours to have!

10) Try Reverse Psychology:

Reverse psychology is something that parents use when they want their kids to behave in a certain way. However, it can also help get you to relax and go to sleep if you’re dealing with an insomnia problem due to breakup blues.

Try Reverse Psychology
Try Reverse Psychology

If you’ve tried all the above tips and are still having difficulty sleeping after a breakup, get up out of bed and do something relaxing for about 20 minutes. Then go back to your room and try to sleep once more. Chances are you’ll fall asleep with no problem!

11) Timing is Everything:

If you’re having trouble falling asleep because of breakup blues, turn off the TV and shut your eyes at a reasonable hour. If you try to fall asleep late at night, it will be much harder for you to doze off!

These tips can help you sleep after a breakup. It may take some time, but you’ll get there!

Thanks to sleep expert “Dr Michael Breus” for sharing his expertise with us today. Stay with me for more great tips and advice.

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What does it mean when You can’t sleep after a breakup?

The question of what it means when you can’t sleep after a breakup is what many people often ask themselves. There are many reasons for this, the most common being stress and anxiety over the break up itself, as well as lingering feelings towards your ex. The thing is, not everyone sleeps well after they break up with their partner. Some people don’t sleep at all, and others have trouble sleeping through the night.

If you are one of these people, read below to find out what it means when you can’t sleep after a breakup.

#1- You’re Miss your Ex

While everyone says that time heals everything and that the pain will go away, they’re often wrong in this case. Most people who’ve been through a break up know that the pain does go away, but they also know that it takes quite a lot of time for it to do so. Many times people find that it hurts more at first before it begins to get better.

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#2- Your Worried About Your Breakup

One of the reasons you might have trouble sleeping is that you’re worried about your relationship. It’s a common thing that happens when people break up with their significant other. They want it back but can’t seem to find a way to do so. The worry and anxiety are often too much, and they have trouble sleeping because of it.

#3- You’re Not Getting Over Your Ex

Another reason why you might not be sleeping is that you’re not getting over your ex. If this is the case, it’s going to be very hard for you to go through with it. Many things go into getting over someone, especially if you were with the person for a long time. One of these things is getting some real sleep while getting over your ex, which can help considerably with the recovery process.

#4- You’re Not Sleeping Well To Begin With

If you weren’t sleeping well before you split up with your EX, then it’s going to be even worse now. Either you had insomnia or had trouble falling asleep before the breakup, and these things are only going to get worse now that you’ve split up with your ex.

#5- You’re Not Getting Enough Rest

If you weren’t getting enough sleep before the breakup, then it’s going to be even harder now. If you want to get some sleep, then you’re going to have to try and get it from somewhere else. This is one of the biggest reasons why an over-the-counter drug like Ambien can help many people who are having trouble sleeping after their relationship ends.

#6- You’re Still in Love With Them

You may have found a reason to break up with your relationship, but you’re still not over it. It’s one thing to be split up from someone and begin the healing process, but if you are still in love with them, it will make things harder for you. You’ll find that there is a strong temptation to call or text them, as well as visit them in person. These things can be great if you want to get back together but terrible if you are trying to move forward.

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Is it normal to have insomnia after a breakup?

Yes! It is normal to have insomnia after a breakup.

So many things happen around a breakup. It is normal for some people to have insomnia when they experience a breakup. It’s been found that if you break up with someone, you may see them more, hear about them, and it can be hard to sleep because of all the thoughts running through your mind.

The other thing that happens is that your brain tries to cope with having ended a relationship. It can also be difficult to sleep if you were in a long-term relationship or didn’t get enough sleep before the breakup happened.


Too many times, I’ve seen people wake up in the middle of the night because they can’t sleep after a breakup. If you can’t sleep after a breakup, there are many remedies to help you get back on track. From making your bed and cleaning the dishes to eating more protein and exercising, we’ve got 11 tips for falling asleep that will hopefully make things easier for you! Please feel free to add any other advice below in the comments if it’s been helpful for you.

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Leslie May
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Leslie May

Hi, I am Leslie B. May. I am a relationship expert with several years of experience. I run this blog to support people with different types of relationship problems and issues. In addition, I help people to get rid of psychological problems with simple but descriptive guides. Moreover, I love to write about tips and suggestions about relationships and help people decide wisely.