Can’t Sleep? (or how Chris Rock lead me to a life of porn)

At least once per week, a client tells me she can’t sleep.  The upside of divorce is that most of us lose a ton of weight, the downside is that you look like death warmed over because you have giant bags under your eyes from lack of sleep.  Worrying about your kids, your finances, where you’re going to live and what you are going to do with the rest of your life is bound to cause some sleepless nights.  The first thing you need to know is that this won’t last forever.  I’ve had some people tell me they just assumed that they would never sleep well again.  I will NOT let you sit in that place of hopelessness alone, you can get through this and it won’t last forever.  But if you are reading this at 3 o’clock in the morning and you need some immediate help, take another sip of chamomile tea (ahem, wine, let’s be honest, we’re all friends here) and read on.

photo-30Tip One:  Tell yourself that you don’t have to make ALL the decisions tonight.  In fact, it’s best that you make NO decisions tonight or in the middle of any other night.   Late night thinking is not our most rational brain time- it’s good for dreams, maybe even for creative bursts of inspiration, but not for financial planning or major parenting decisions.  A lot of people have wasted a lot of money sending me their 500 word e-mails filled with “strategy” that was written after a long, sleepless night, rarely is any of it part of a smart plan.  Let yourself off the hook, work time is over and it’s safe to rest – even just for tonight.

Tip Two:  Don’t just lay there, do something.  Get up, go do some laundry, organize a drawer, or maybe just do a little yoga.  When I was going through my divorce, I had the  most organized drawers ever – I could have taught Martha Stewart a thing or two.  You may wake up tired but you will at least have a sense of accomplishment.  Plus, I think doing housework when you can’t sleep is good training for your brain – “hey, if you don’t let me sleep, we have to do housework”.

Tip Three:  Do something fun.  Browsing the internet keeps you alert even when it’s mindlessly checking out felted owls on Etsy.  The internet wakes up your brain and makes it harder to get to sleep – all the lights and colors (and those weird ads that dance) keep you awake.  But being sad and weepy and staring at the ceiling isn’t good for you either.  Find a silly romantic comedy or some late night stand-up and let yourself laugh and feel good (watch something from the 80’s, you will feel so much better about your current hair choices).  Laughing will help to rest your mind and let you sleep.

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

Oooh, wait, you wanted to know about the porn, didn’t you?  😉  When I couldn’t sleep, I would watch the late-night re-runs of Chris Rock Comedy Specials (because they are hi-larious, they play them over and over and I can watch them over and over).  I would fall asleep on the couch giggling to old Chris Rock re-runs.  I’d wake up to find the comedy had switched over to the “naughty shows” and hurriedly turn them off, fearful that one of my kid’s late night potty runs would cause them to find their mom nodding off in front of the nakey version of The Office.

Try these tips for getting back to sleep and let me know in the comments how it works for you.


  1. your post is so valuable for me, it will help in lots of ways.

  2. Not what I was expecting but excellent anyway! Good for you!

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