How to Sleep After a Breakup: 11 Easy Tricks That Can Help

depressed woman struggling to sleep

Breaking up with a partner or spouse after being together for what seems like a lifetime can be brutal. It may trigger a wave of emotions ranging from sadness to loss of appetite as well as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Is it even possible to sleep after a breakup? The answer is yes. As long as you find ways to physically tire the brain and body while putting your emotions in check, nights of bliss can be possible even if it may be a lot of hard work.

A breakup can make you desperate to nod off especially as an escape from the sad and negative emotions. But you jump into bed at night only to realize that you’re struggling to fall asleep with the related frustrations.

Negative Thoughts Are Normal after a Breakup

The first step towards hitting the hay immediately after a failed relationship is to accept that those negative thoughts are normal. It is OK to feel sad or depressed regardless of the circumstances under which you had to break it off.

Even if you were the one that initiated the split, it is normal to feel sad about how things turned out and this can affect your sleep.

After all, you may have been heavily invested in your ex so getting over those feelings may not be a walk in the park. Additionally, keep in mind that everyone suffers some form of anxiety or depression after a marriage or relationship ends.

So while you may be all over the place emotionally, it is important to cheer up and know that you’ll get through this just as you have with other obstacles in the past.

How To Sleep Well After Breakup

There are critical steps to follow if you’re serious about getting over a failed relationship. These steps can help reduce the pain and speed up the process of getting back to your normal self eventually. Once that occurs, falling and staying asleep should be breezy again.

1. Immerse Yourself in Work or School

2 females and a male having discussions in bed

Distracting yourself is one of the most tried and tested ways to get back your sleep mojo after a breakup. The pain of the split may unbearable but continuing to dwell on that can only lead to more pain and suffering.

Thus, delving into another activity that takes up a chunk of your attention can be worthwhile. From immersing yourself into work or academic studies to taking up a new hobby such as painting or dancing, the options are limitless.

Many people also find binge-watching TV shows and movies extremely effective in getting over their exes. As long as whatever you choose to indulge in doesn’t remind you of the past relationship too much, you should be fine.

2. Go Out and Meet New People

Going out and meeting new people can be a lot of fun. This also triggers the brain to release higher quantities of dopamine- a hormone that increases the feel-good factor in humans. What better way to get over your sadness after the demise of a relationship.

Who knows? You may form some lifelong friendships that can help you weather the storm of not only the breakup but other situations in the future.

Meeting new people can also serve as a great form of distraction. Sure, there may be days when you feel like curling up in bed and binge-eating junk food. But eventually, the new friendships will draw you out from home.

Also, Dopamine is a known sleep-boosting hormone so going out and meeting new people should allow you to hit the sack much easier at bedtime.

3. Workout Regularly

When the mind is swarmed with negative thoughts, the physical exertion from exercise can put it at ease and enable sleep.

This may not necessarily mean hitting the gym and pumping iron for 3 straight hours as it happens in the movies. But anything that can tire the body can be great for your sleep.

Besides, cortisol and other stress hormones are reduced when you undergo any sort of exhausting exercise. That serves as the brain’s way of making sure you get the necessary rest after a hard-working session at the gym.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, even 30 minutes of nightly walks can put the body up for efficient rest when you finally retire to bed. However, those with impressive levels of physical fitness may need more exhaustive workouts to break some sweat, cool off eventually, and get to sleep.

If you’ve never been a  runner, this may be a great time to get into long runs. Taking up running a few times a week can strengthen the heart while promoting the release of endorphins which can make you feel good. 

We recommend choosing a workout routine you’re passionate about to make the whole process enjoyable. For instance, if you’ve always been interested in Martial Arts, then perhaps Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Kung fu can be a great way to stay fit and tire the body for better sleep while engaged in something you love.

4. Listen to Some Soothing Music

Do you know why artists like Adele and Ed Sheeran have billions of YouTube views on single videos? It is because music can be soothing for the broken-hearted soul.

Music is one of the most powerful forms of grief therapy. Whether you’re mourning a dead loved one or the loss of a relationship, soothing music can be food for the soul.

Beyond that, listening to good music especially at bedtime can help get to La La Land quicker.   According to WebMD, listening to music playing at a tempo of about 60 beats per minute can supercharge the ability to hit the hay and explore Dreamland until morning comes.

The good news is that there are millions of tracks on YouTube for your pleasure. You can create playlists of your favorite tunes and listen to them during bedtime to release stress, reduce anxiety, and promote good sleep.

According to experts, even 30 minutes of soothing music should make sleep easier to come by.

5. Meditation 

bare-chested man meditating on a hardwood floor

It is no secret that meditation can be a powerful method for battling any form of insomnia. It has been used for centuries to calm the mind and put it to sleep in many cultures around the world.

The practice reduces stress and sets up the body in a mode similar to the initial stages of shuteye by slowing down your blood pressure and pulse while reducing stress hormones such as cortisol.

Gathering your thoughts to meditate can be difficult post breakups even for the most experienced followers. But, pulling that off is not impossible as long as you keep trying and figure out the right techniques.

However, the situation can get trickier for new followers of meditation as they come to terms with how to let go of raw emotions and focus on other thoughts.

Many people start off meditating in the company of others to master the art of harnessing their focus despite wild running and often, conflicting thoughts.

Fortunately, once you gain a bit of experience, you can master the art of gathering your thoughts whenever they’re on the verge of spiraling out of control.

Not sure of how to start meditating? Look it up on YouTube and you’ll likely come across tons of material on Guided Meditation.

I personally use the Body Quiet Meditation Cushion with Accupressure For Stress Relief from Amazon for Meditation and Yoga exercises. The seat is tall for excellent alignment of the hips and spine for correct posture. This means zero pressure on my back, knees, and ankles for superior comfort and longer, pain-free meditation and yoga sessions. I highly recommend it.

6. Yoga 

Yoga is a minimal-impact physical routine that can offer tremendous benefits for not only your sleep but overall health as well.

Practiced by millions of people around the world, the wide-ranging benefits include lower stress and enhanced flexibility as well as improved breathing and focus.

According to various studies, doing yoga daily does not only improve the duration of your sleep but the quality as well.

Additionally, yoga also improves a follower’s sleep onset latency which is a measure of how long it takes to sleep.

If you hate any form of traditional exercise, yoga can set off a series of reactions leading to superior nightly shuteye after breaking up with your partner.

It has shown significant improvements for even those with chronic sleep problems. A quick Google or YouTube search can help you find videos of Yoga Nidra, a powerful meditative yoga that can break your body’s defenses.

You should be able to sleep much quicker with even 15-20 minutes of practicing this type of yoga.

The BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose 1/2 Inch Extra Thick Anti-Tear Yoga Mat from Amazon is my go-to mat for doing yoga at home and the office. The 71-inch length and 24-inch width make it comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes. With 5-star reviews from over 21,000 buyers (and counting) on Amazon alone, you cannot afford to miss out on it.

7. Balanced Diet

Eating meals packed with essential nutrients in their right quantities can be another effective way of boosting sleep after a breakup.

Often, we underrate the power of what we eat on our sleep patterns. However, there are lots of food and drinks that can rob you of good sleep – coffee included.

Remember, sugar is one of the main barriers to achieving good sleep so it is vital to avoid it as much as possible. Soda is also a big no-no if you want to avoid tossing and turning on your bed from side to side throughout the night.

Besides, going to bed hungry and late-night eating can be equally terrible for sleep. Both actions can induce the mind to stay alert when you’re desperate to calm it down and drift off.

Finally, including sleep-inducing foods and drinks such as green tea, chamomile tea, strawberries, and warm milk can be critical to achieving effortless slumber at night.

Have you read the article we wrote on going to bed hungry? Click here to check it out.

8. Keep Alcohol and Drugs at Bay

a couple sharing a drink

Drowning your sorrows in alcohol may be tempting after a painful breakup but that can only be a recipe for disaster. Well, unless you want to add insomnia to your troubles.

Alcohol can lead to frequent urination several times overnight meaning multiple wake-ups from your slumber.

Also, doing hard drugs can saddle you with sleeplessness at night. This can make normal daily functioning such as eating and sleeping more difficult – especially when you get off the high.

9. Essential Oils

Did you know that essential oils have been used to promote natural wellness and sleep for hundreds of years?

Sweet-scented oils such as lavender, jasmine, peppermint, and vanilla give off pleasant smells that create an enabling bedroom environment for great sleep. These oils can supercharge relaxation by lowering your anxiety levels which is common immediately after a breakup.

Since my breakup, the Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser with Essential Oils from Amazon helps me sleep quicker and longer. Recommended by my best friend who went through a recent divorce, it is one of the most potent weapons for eliminating my post-breakup insomnia.

10. Seek Therapy

If nothing else seems to be working, going to therapy might be what you need to reclaim the happiness in your life and enjoy sleeping again.

Life may seem meaningless after a messy breakup especially when you feel betrayed. The negative thoughts can be so overwhelming that you’re caught staring at the ceiling throughout the night when you’re supposed to be deeply asleep.

Seeking therapy can help you come to terms with the breakup and make sense of what happened. Therapy can also be a great way to deal with anxiety and depression for better sleep. 

Depending on personal circumstances and how you feel after the breakup, your doctor may also prescribe anti-depressants and other sedatives to enable you to sleep.

We recommend speaking to your therapist if all of the solutions above seem to be delivering limited or no results.

Sometimes, a listening ear is all you need to snap out of negative thoughts. The good news is that your therapist can be a symbol of support and a shoulder to cry on during the most difficult times.

11. Give it Time

Time, they say, is the best healer. Your world may seem like coming to an end after a breakup but know you’ll get through it eventually and be back sleeping well again.

The trick is to try to move on by eliminating constant reminders of your former partner. Also, avoid isolating yourself from friends and loved ones as their support can be critical to healing.

Try to see the light at the end of the tunnel in everything you do and focus on the positives in your life. Sure, a long and committed relationship may have come to an end but you can pay attention to other blessings such as good health and career.

Additionally, be prepared to make sweeping changes that can put you towards the right path in life if you’ve fallen off the path slightly.

No More Effortless Sleep

Congratulations on coming to terms with the fact that you’re not crazy and the emotions are just normal. Now, it is time to accept that good sleep may be difficult to come by naturally and you’ll have to put in the hard yards for it.

Sure, you may have been an easy sleeper in the past but the days of nodding off peacefully immediately after a shower may be over – at least in the short term.

Hence, preparing the mind towards doing the things that can boost effortless nighttime rest can be critical. Remember, as long as you follow the steps above, sleeping well again should be possible even if it takes a bit of time.


Sleeping well after a nasty breakup may seem impossible. But several tricks can be incorporated into your life to make it happen.

Lifestyle changes such as going teetotal and staying off drugs is an effective remedy. But beyond that, it is important to incorporate healthy diets as well as exercise, yoga, and soothing music into your sleep routines.

Before you know it, you’ll be living your wildest fantasies in Dreamland.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

Recent Posts