Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris break up! Can a good night’s sleep mend a broken heart?
As we all wake up to the
news today that Calvin Harris and pop princess Taylor Swift have
called time on their 15 month romance, Silentnight's sleep expert
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan offers the pair her top tips for combatting
those heartbroken sleepless nights.
When nursing a broken
heart, it is important to look after your health and make getting a good
night's sleep your top priority. In times of break-up lack of
sleep often results in new singletons feeling more down in the
dumps and in serious cases it can even spark depression.
Sleeplessness in times of
heartache will also enhance negative dream patterns that ultimately
result creating deeper memories of sadness.
My partner broke my heart - what should I
Don't take emotional baggage to
Before you go to bed, instead of
thinking about the negatives or dwelling on a break-up, write down
all the good things that have happened during the day or the good
things you have to look forward to. This will change your mindset
to alleviate stress and worry, leaving you more relaxed to
Don't cry into a glass of wine before
Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants
and it can take your body up to 10 hours to remove all traces of
these. Alcohol is the most commonly used sleep and relaxing aid in
the world as it initially has a sedative effect. However, alcohol
stops you getting good, deep sleep and can increase REM (rapid eye
movement) sleep so the next day you feel not only physically tired
but also mentally fuzzy.
Don't get mad, get fit…
Situations such as break-ups will
affect your sleep because of the stress, however regular exercise
is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels
- mainly adrenaline - enabling you to sleep more deeply. The
American College of Sports Medicine guidelines recommend three or
four sessions of aerobic exercise (swimming, cycling, jogging, fast
walking) for 20 to 30 minutes per week. Keep this up and you will
drift off quicker when you get into bed at night.
Have a duvet day…
Working or pushing yourself
relentlessly throughout the day, which many of us may do as a
distraction during stressful times, overstimulates your nervous
system leading to that 'tired but wired' feeling when you get into
bed. Take three to five minute breaks every 90 minutes throughout
the day - move, close your eyes, eat something nourishing and stay
away from technology. Your sleep at night will be deeper and more
Get off their Facebook…
Not only will scouring social
networks potentially cause you to dwell or remind you of an
ex-partner causing anxiety, electronic devices overload the
'working memory' of the brain and lead to noisy thought-filled
sleep. Don't use your phone, tablet or laptop for 90 minutes before
you go to bed and you will sleep better.
Reclaim 'me' time…
Trying to stay up late to make
yourself tired doesn't work, it actually does the opposite. Go to
bed at a reasonable and consistent time every date and get yourself
in to a regular wind down routine. You will notice a huge
difference to the quality of your sleep. Read a book, listen to
relaxing music, have a bath and use some relaxing essential oils
such as lavender to help promote sleepiness.
Find a new happy place…
Following a break up or heartache
many people will often be plagued by the anxiety and the hurt at
nighttime while they lay in bed. A good technique for combatting
those sleep blues is called 'A Safe Place' - where you visualise a
beautiful environment (real or imaginary), and place yourself
there. This is almost a meditation where you enjoy the pleasures
including sounds and smells of your special place and where you
invite in your favourite people and bring your favourite things
into it. It's really a retreat, where you know everything is lovely
and you don't need negative emotions. This helps combat the feeling
of abandonment at bed time, and can help soothe the anxiety of
sleeping alone if you have not done so in a long time.