I don’t know about y’all, but is it starting to feel like a ghost town up in here? At least that’s how it was feeling for me a few weeks into my divorce. Once the dust settled and the rumor mill had stopped production for summer break, it seemed all was quiet on my block and the phone wasn’t ringing....
Can’t Sleep? Divorce Got You Burning The Midnight Oil?
So you can’t sleep. No need to stress about it. This isn’t brand new information. Many people going through a divorce have trouble sleeping, so understand that what you are feeling is completely normal. You can sleep tight knowing that now I’m sure, LOL.
I remember when I was telling people I was having trouble sleeping. The responses I got were “Have you tried melatonin?”, “You know what you should try, melatonin.”, “I hear melatonin works great.” It’s not lady-like to just start screaming at the top of your lungs in a coffee shop for no reason or is it if your life is falling off its hinges? For someone who has had sleep problems for most of my life, I already knew melatonin was not going to be the cure for this bad beast (aka “Le Divorce”). I was disappointed that no one was actively listening to the advice I was truly seeking, which was a desperate cure to have any relief for my brain shutting off at night for the constant replaying of what I could’ve done differently in my marriage. Does this sound familiar? If you’re one of the lucky ones and you already pass out from pure exhaustion or you just have good sleep hygiene, leave the group- I’m only kidding. I commend you! But, if you’re probably the 50% or more than are suffering from this right now, here is what I suggest.
- Exercise. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It’s too much effort right now to leave the comfort of my living room. Depending on what stage you are right now on this whole “body after break up”, you may not even be putting that plan into place right now, but you do need to get moving. I’m not saying join a boxing club and pull a “Kansas & the Firepit (see my book), but start taking a walk in the neighborhood. Go from your couch pants to some yoga pants for even 30 minutes. Give yourself one goal for that 30 minutes, and I don’t mean a weight loss goal. Maybe something creative, like finding some pretty flowers to take a picture of or using the portrait setting on your phone to take a picture of the neighbors dog. Something that makes your walk or your jog a fulfilling one. If you’ve already been walking, bump on your exercise routine to something a little more strenuous and challenge yourself. Tire yourself out a little, just like parents do with their kids at the park, you want to feel that “good tired” at the end of the day. Don’t work out too late though as it might give you an energy boost late at night that will affect your sleep.
- Stop Eating. I’m not about the “fork down when the sun goes down” method because the sun goes down so damn early now and I’m not about that life. I know this isn’t realistic for a lot of people to stop eating at 5pm. So many of us work different schedules and have kids and activities and a life, helloooo. My suggestion is to stop eating 2 hours before bed time. I’d really push for 3 hours if you can. So let’s say you go to bed at midnight. Try and stop eating at 9pm. You want to give your body time to let your food digest. Now look, we both know what happens during a divorce- we’re up late, sometimes drinking, and drinking leads to snacking, and more drinking and then crying, and then drinking, and then eating and the whole cycle and then you can’t sleep and then eventually pass out after you’ve finished a bottle (or two). We need nights where we need a good drink and a cry. But if you can be mindful of your eating late at night, it can help you in the long run with your digestion and your sleep.
- Screen time. How many articles, doctors, morning shows, and everywhere on the internet tell us to knock it off with our cell phones. But during a divorce, the last thing we want to do is lay in bed alone with our thoughts. Instead, we decide to play on our phone and look at funny dog pictures or inspirational quotes on Pinterest to make us feel better, and in the dark of all things! I suggest that an hour before bed you cozy up with a real (tangible) book, listen to some soothing music at a low level, or write in a physical journal. It’s ok if you do this in your bedroom. You want to make your bedroom an inviting place. You don’t want it to feel as if it’s a place that you dread going because you can’t sleep.
- Warm Bath. For some people this may wake them up. For me, it would always help relax and calm me down. I keep the lighting dim if you can and just enjoy a good soak for 20 minutes. It is amazing how much the hot water can help with the tension in your body. Look out for the bath products coming your way in the upcoming The Divorce Cases! This would be a perfect opportunity to use them.
- CBD Lotion or Hemp Cream. I understand some people may not be on board this train yet. It took me a minute to fully understand what exactly this stuff was… was it weed? The lotion has no marijuana in it. You will not get high. Cannabidol is from a hemp plant. Think of it like Scotty Smalls in The Sandlot. You need him because he makes a full team. So even though cannabidol is in marijuana, on its own, its harmless. Using lotion or hemp cream in areas that harbor tension like the neck and shoulders at night before bedtime 30 minutes to one hour before bed can alleviate headaches, stress, and insomnia. I wish I had known about this during my divorce. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I started using CBD regularly and it has really helped me sleep at night.
I am not a Doctor and I advise that if your sleep problems do persist long term to reach out to a medical professional. Remember, everyone is made up differently. I do urge you to try these natural things first before turning to medications as medications can lead to addictions.
Don’t stress over sleeping. Embrace it. Get excited about going to bed at night. Create a fun routine. I know the bed looks lonely now, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe buy a new blanket at target to snuggle with or a big hugging pillow. Remember, this is YOUR bed now.
Weddings. Meh. I’ve been through 3 of my own. (yes, 3). Confused since i’ve only been married twice? Well, one was a little celebration across the pond for family and friends after the fact, and they are still stressful whether you’re the one throwing or attending. After a certain age, does anyone really, truly like going to weddings? If you...
So you can’t sleep. No need to stress about it. This isn’t brand new information. Many people going through a divorce have trouble sleeping, so understand that what you are feeling is completely normal. You can sleep tight knowing that now I’m sure, LOL. I remember when I was telling people I was having trouble sleeping. The responses I got...