We’ve all been there. You’ve just gone through a tough breakup and you can’t seem to fall asleep, no matter how tired you are. You toss and turn all night, replaying every happy moment in your head and wondering where things went wrong.
Breakups are hard, there’s no denying it. But one of the hardest things about going through a breakup is insomnia that often comes afterward. In today’s article we talk about this weird and often unexpected consequence of a breakup, so read on.
Is break-up insomnia real?
For many people, post-breakup insomnia is a real phenomenon. Many people report that they had difficulty sleeping after a breakup. And it makes sense when you think about it. When you’re used to falling asleep next to someone, it can be hard to adjust to sleeping alone again.
Not to mention all the emotions; sadness, anger, confusion, and grief, that come along with a breakup. It’s no wonder so many people have trouble sleeping after a split.
1- Personal experience of insomnia after a loss:
When I was in college and before I even met my husband; I remember having saved money to buy the new iPhone at the time. It was the first time I treated myself to something similar because before that I never used to care about mobile phones or any tech products whatsoever.
However, this time was different. I saw the iPhone with one of my friends and liked it a lot. So I decided to cut a few costs and expenses and save enough to be able to buy it in two months’ time. A few weeks of frugal living went by and I managed to save enough to buy it. However, one week after I bought it, I attended a Halloween college party where I was so focused on collecting candy; that I misplaced and lost my newly acquired iPhone.
That was one of the most horrible nights I went through, during that naive phase of my life. I remember having cried for an hour or more and even having been incapable of sleeping for a couple of nights after that. I was in disbelief.
Every time my head touched the pillow I started thinking about whether I am totally sure that it was lost and unretrievable. I started to doubt the fact that I even took it with me to that party. And, every night I’d spend hours regretting everything all over again and beating myself up over it until the morning light starts hitting my window.
Now after I consider everything that I went through after this incident and how cruel the world was to me later on, this pathetic loss seems funny and almost ridiculous. But, I was naive back then and it’s a good example of how insomnia after a loss is very possible and true!
2- But what about post-breakup insomnia?
I am not familiar with post-breakup insomnia in particular, but I understand how true and real it can be. I’ve seen many friends of mine go through it or experience something similar. Because I had met my husband fairly early enough after college, which I am grateful for, I didn’t experience many heartbreaks in life. I went through some ugly stalking experiences though and met a few cruel people with twisted minds.
But, if you’re going through a breakup and struggling to sleep, know that you’re not alone. There are lots of people out there who understand what you’re going through and who are rooting for you.
Hang in there; things will get better eventually. And in the meantime, maybe try calming techniques such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga, and more.
So how long would breakup insomnia last for, on average?
It depends. If you were together for a long time and had many shared future plans, it’ll probably take some time to adjust to your new single life. On the other hand, if it was a relatively short relationship or you weren’t particularly close, you may find that you don’t have any trouble sleeping after the breakup.
Maybe, you were in it for the wrong reasons and didn’t even truly fall for that person and that’s what led to the breakup? In this case, too, you will not be affected much by the breakup. In other terms the less you cared the less likely you’ll be to experience post-breakup insomnia.
Ultimately, it depends on how serious the relationship was and how invested you were in the future plans you had together. Give yourself some time to adjust and be patient; eventually, your sleep schedule will return to normal.
But to answer the question if you experience any post-breakup insomnia then you can expect it to start going away within a month or two at most. This is especially true if you start to date again and follow the appropriate steps to heal from the breakup once and for all and move on.
How to get over post-breakup insomnia?
Again, breakups are hard. Not only do you have to deal with the pain of losing someone you care about, but you also have to deal with the awkwardness of seeing them around town or at work. And on top of all that, you often have to deal with the insomnia that comes with it all, and that we talked about in this article.
It will be tough to get a good night’s sleep when you’re wondering where things went wrong or what could have been different. But there are some things we can recommend that you do to help yourself get over post-breakup insomnia.
First, it’s important to give yourself time to grieve. This means accepting that you’re going to feel sad and angry for a while, and that’s okay. Don’t try to push those feeling away; let yourself experience them.
Secondly, try to keep yourself busy during the day so that you’re tired at night. Go for walks, read books, or call a friend instead of lying in bed scrolling through social media. Or even better; why not start dating again? this way you can quickly shift your thinking to other people and also other possibilities. Make sure that you don’t jump in a rebound relationship though as these often fail too soon.
Finally, if you find yourself thinking about your ex late at night, try writing down your thoughts in a journal. This can help you to process them and ultimately move on. Breakups are never easy, but by taking care of yourself both emotionally and physically, you can help make the transition a little bit easier.