You can’t smile without forcing it.
You can’t stop thinking about him.
You can’t stop thinking about what happened.
You feel terrible, you look terrible, and all you want is for him to be suffering as much as you are.
In the midst of your misery, you come to me.
I offer you something called “overnight therapy.”
I promise that this therapeutic technique will help you put your breakup in perspective and take the emotional sting out of it. Used regularly, it will help you shake off those painful feelings, until your ex is just another guy you used to know.
Plus, it will make you look both younger AND more attractive.
Are you in?
Before I tell you what the technique is, let me tell you how it works.
When you’re under acute stress, your body responds as if you’re under attack. Adrenaline floods your body, along with its brain equivalent, noradrenaline.
Noradrenaline makes you feel wired. You find yourself completely obsessed and focused on every little thing related to the breakup. You might even feel anxious and panicky. Everything feels like an emergency.
What we want to do is dampen down that noradrenaline response, so that you can process the trauma of the breakup from a calm, emotionally safe place.
But thinking about what happened is difficult. It takes energy you don’t have.
That’s why we’re going to put the difficult work of processing the breakup on autopilot. This technique will extract life lessons from the breakup for you, without retraumatizing you by recalling painful details.
But you don’t just want to get over him.
You want to make sure he knows EXACTLY what he’s lost.
So this technique will also make you look your best: fresh, energized, and attractive.
And, because you don’t have a lot of time or money to spare, this technique is completely free, takes no skill whatsoever, and can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Want to know what it is?
Dr. Matt Walker is director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at UC Berkeley. He’s a prolific researcher who’s published over a hundred studies on sleep.
He came up with the theory that it’s “not time that heals all wounds, but rather time spent in dream sleep.”
He set out to prove it by showing a group of young people a series of emotionally charged images. Then he measured their brain’s response with an MRI scan. He tested the study participants again 12 hours later, to see if their emotional response to the images had changed.
But he tweaked one thing:
Half the study participants got a good night’s sleep in between the tests, while the other half remained awake.
The participants who’d slept a full 8 hours in between tests were significantly less emotionally affected the second time around.
The participants who hadn’t slept weren’t as lucky. They reacted just as negatively the second time around, if not more so.
That study was just the beginning. Dr. Walker later discovered that a specific kind of dreaming is most effective for processing painful memories:
Dreams about the emotional themes of the experience.
So if you dream about your ex, being abandoned, feeling alone, or even finding love again, then you’re well on your way to emotional healing—even if it doesn’t always feel like it in those immediate moments upon awakening.
It’s emotionally easier to process painful memories in dreams than it is while you’re awake. That’s because levels of noradrenaline in your brain drop while you’re dreaming, creating a “neurochemically calm” environment. (PTSD sufferers are the exception.)
Sleep can also ensure that you stay cool, calm, and collected when you see your ex again.
Sleep is critical to maintaining emotional balance. You can find yourself hyperreactive or overly emotional after just one night of suboptimal sleep. Go for a week on not enough sleep, and you can find yourself bursting into tears just because you’re out of cereal for breakfast.
Dr. Walker makes a strong case that getting 8 hours of sleep a night is the single most important thing we can do for our physical and mental health—even more important, he says, than diet and exercise.
So the next time something happens to you that’s emotionally devastating, carve out time to sleep and dream. This “overnight therapy” will help you heal night after night, until that ex of yours no longer has any relevance to your happy, amazing life.
 Why We Sleep (New York: Scribner, 2017) 207.