Sleep Issues After Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Sleep Issues After Leaving an Abusive Relationship sleep issues after leaving an abusive relationship
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Today I’ll be answering the question of why sometimes you have sleep issues after leaving an abusive relationship, like you can’t really find enough sleep, like you have insomnia, sometimes you go hours without getting any sleep. So why is it actually?

About to Sleep = No Distraction

The main reason is because when you sleep, when you’re resting, you want to rest. You are not distracted by anything. That’s the point where you don’t have a phone, you don’t have your friends, you don’t have your family, you don’t have your work, you don’t have any kind of distraction. So that is the moment when all those things you’ve buried beneath the surface, all those things in your subconscious part of your mind, those thoughts, memories from the past, come to the surface. it’s like they’re just looking, like, “Hey, hey, hey, we are here.”

Because in that silence, in that boredom when you’re really about to rest, those things come up, those traumatic memories now come up. And when those things come up, actually, is when the overthinking starts. You end up analyzing scenarios, analyzing like, “I should have done that, I should have done that, maybe it’s that, maybe they will change.” So when all those things come to the surface, it can really be hard for you to sleep because how can you sleep when your mind is filled with all these things? Yeah, so sleep can be very hard because sleep brings everything to the surface.

Sleep as A Trigger

Another thing about sleep also is maybe because you were used to sleeping with them in the relationship. So that act of wanting to sleep is just a trigger. It’s just a trigger because a trigger reminds you of the past painful experience. Because much of the abuse often occurs during sleep, particularly when sharing the same bed, it can encompass various forms such as physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse, as these instances typically unfold in that vulnerable moment. Consequently, when attempting to sleep, one is frequently taken back to those distressing experiences or to the shared bed with their abusive former partner. This sensation can trigger some sort of discomfort, similar to reliving the abuse in the present moment. As a result, each impending sleep session may feel very long, burdened by the weight of past trauma and the lingering presence of the abuser. This situation is exacerbated if you continue to sleep in the same bed that you once shared with your abusive ex-partner especially because you’ve not worked on your past.


In addition to the difficulties in sleeping peacefully, you may also find yourself plagued by nightmares, further disrupting your ability to achieve a restful night’s sleep. These nightmares often involve scenarios where you are confronted with your ex-partner and may even involve a reenactment of the traumatic experiences they subjected you to. It’s important to note that while not everyone experiences nightmares, for some individuals, the fear of these haunting dreams can intensify their worry towards sleep. Consequently, you may develop a fear of bedtime, anticipating the seemingly endless night ahead and the distressing nightmares that may accompany it. This fear might drive you to seek solace in sleeping pills or alcohol, hoping to induce a state of blackout before attempting to sleep. This simply shows how sleep can become a huge challenge when unresolved trauma lingers from the past, impacting both the quantity and quality of rest you are able to attain.

Healing Is Holistic

The significance of addressing your past or healing unresolved wounds cannot be overstated, as it serves as the pivotal first step towards initiating positive changes in your life. It may not be as daunting as it seems initially; the real challenge arises when you begin to dissect each symptom individually instead of seeking assistance to address the underlying root causes that are anchoring you to the past.

When you will on all that visible manifestation of your past experiences, you will be safe within. You will then realize that actually you can have a peaceful sleep because you’re just safe within yourself. And you understand your boundaries and you understand how other people are supposed to treat you. And you now understand that the past is the past; it doesn’t have to affect how you live your life presently.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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