32 thoughts on “Are You Having Sleep Problems During the Pandemic? 5 Likely Reasons

  • July 5, 2020 at 10:34 am

    What about my wanting to sleep almost all of the time and never feeling rested?

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Dear John, I’m sorry this is happening. What you describe could possibly be a symptom of depression. I encourage you to run this by a licensed therapist or talk with your Dr. about it.

      Reply
    • July 7, 2020 at 2:17 am

      Could be sleep apnea

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Thank you for sharing. I fall in the sections 2-5.

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 4:36 pm

      Dear Dona, that is certainly understandable! Try dealing more directly with your feelings and see if it helps.

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    As a child at a very early age (18 months) My mother fed me food that kept me constipated. I hurt so much that I became un-potty trained. My Dad had been brutalized as a POW and at the time of his liberation was in the belief that he would die before that happened. His task was to retrain this child in the task of using the toilette. I was strapped from that point on until the age of 7. My life was filled with anxiety and fear. Once I entered the school system I had the exhibited behavior tags that led to me being a victim of Bullying. I withdrew and spoke to no one about my feelings, which by the age of 8 had regressed to a point of feeling insignificant, unlovable and self hate. I wanted to die. I was very intelligent with a love for the written word. by the time I was in 5th grade I could read and comprehend high school level. Sad part was that I was in such a habit of stuffing my emotions I was an anger time bomb. Then at the age of 10 my mom died as a result of an auto accident in which my Dad was driving the car. Having been on the wagon from just before I was born due to an ultimatum my Mom had delivered. I guess my Dad rationalized that there was no longer any reason for him to not drink. I know he was beating himself up over my Mom’s death, while I just got in line and thought that my poor behavior was the reason God had removed her from my life. I have always had the hardest time trying to recall any memories of either of my parents telling me they loved me. I was perpetually being told by my Mom that Dad had been planning to take me fishing but due to my poor behavior that was not happening. I resorted to stealing in order to fill the void I felt in the center of my being. I picked up my first cigarette at my Mom’s funeral, and by the time I was 13 began stealing from my pop’s whiskey bottle. By the time I was 17 I was a dry heaving alcoholic. I turned 21 and found pot, and I was in love. Party Animal? Me? I think not. I was a menagerie. My teacher in the 8th grade had nicknamed me “The class procrastinator” I was all about avoidance and followed through on that into High School. I went from the highest tier of my 9th grade class to the 2nd level in one semester, and with my dad gone in the morning at 6 am, I would be home long before the school nurse could call to find me truant, No one in the Tech school system had ever and would never see my Dad’s signature on an absence report or a report card, and my Dad never saw one. How I ever managed it when I took my PSAT’s I had qualified to go to college and could have for electrical engineering. That never happened due to my active addiction. My first 10 years in the work force showed me having burned through 25 different jobs. I was asked by my Dad when I was 23 to leave home and did so with such a resentment towards him that when I ended up at a job where I had been employed in a different shop. My Dad was working for the same shipyard in a maintenance shop subdepartment of the electrical trade that we had been employed as. The guys that I had been working with had been talking to my Dad who I had disowned and refused to reconcile with, and made it known to me the pain that I was causing him and his desire for the Prodigal Son to return. My heart was hardened and I would continue this for some time the better part of a year. I had been a thorn in the side of this shipyard from 1973 until the last time I quit in 79 and caused the last straw to break. it would take another 8 years of active addiction and workfare assignments at a local community college where by the Grace of God I would become of the 12 step fellowship known as Narcotics Anonymous. I could feel the attraction of the program as I could hear the applause and cheering of the members as key-tags were given to mark the members various lengths of clean time. All at the same time my disease kept telling me with a sense of denial, “yep that’s nice, but you’re not like them.You don’t have a problem” this was in 1985. Shortly after I would get a state job in that college, while taking Haldol, Lithium and drinking, I would continue to use Marijuanna, until I quit the job after I had been caught sleeping while on the overnight by my old workfare supervisor and finally getting myself into a jackpot with my department supervisor. I quit again only to get another job for a small business man who had confided that he would have a problem with any employee that so much as went to a bar after work for a drink. I would eventually after a 6 month period of complete abstinence find myself ready to go to work while stoned. As My Brother in law and I were leaving to go to the work site I made him stop the vehicle and in a fit of guilt told the owner that I could no longer be in his employ. I would tell him the reason some 3 months later after having hit my bottom and spent my first day sober on May 25th 1987. I was told that due to the nature of my terminating my employment he could not take me back until I had been clean and sober for a full year for insurance purposes. I was also told that he and his family were in the habit of visiting his Mother-in-laws on Sundays and to not be a stranger. Warping back a month to the week before my first NA meeting “The How Group” I was finally admitted to the Michael J Kerr Crisis intervention center. I was adamant that I needed to stop living the way I was, or that I would soon die. Being a 5 day program I told them that I would do what ever they told me under one condition, before they release me They had to tell me the location of an NA meeting for the day they released me. What I experienced was one of the AA 9th Step promises. God had done for me what I couldn’t do for myself. That very same meeting that I had become aware of at the workfare (a program of state Welfare) assignment, would be my first piece in the puzzle of my recovery. That meeting had moved to the grounds of the State Hospital in Norwich,CT where I had been treated at least 7 time for drug and alcohol abuse between 1976 and 1987. I came away from that meeting with something that I had never experienced in the prior 34 years. Hope. I dived into the 12 step program of recovery, literally a fourth dimension (from The Doctors Opinion AA big Book) Shortly after a year clean I quit smoking, my being an addict I suffer from the progression of the disease and at about 20 years clean I began getting sick because of Addicts that would prop the doors open to the meeting hall exposing me to second hand smoke making me sick due to my allergy. I stopped going to meetings. Shortly after New Years 2010 My relationship of 10 years fell apart due to me having been a dry drunk for the previous 3 years and her having cheated on her previous husband to live with me. At this point I had been employed with Wal-mart for about 8 years(OMG is this an indication that I’d stopped running?) Still no meetings but in September of 2011 I met Susie, That person that would complete me. We had been communicating on OK Cupid for 6 to 9 months. I managed to get fired from the Wally world job in November, and in January of 2012 Sue and I would share the life I could never have dreamed of until January of 2018 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colo-rectal cancer that had metabolized to her liver and ovaries. She underwent 8 courses of Chemo and with unbearable pain had a successful surgery to remove 5 lesions from her liver the day before my 31st sober anniversary. Back in January I researched her diagnosis and found out that the recovery rate for it was merelt 11%. I went to an AA meeting in the Town to prepare for the inevitable. My mom predicted the accident she would die from the day she slid behind the wheel of the car mentioning the Greyhound bus that would head-on the car. The day Sue died in my arms she had suffered a pulmonary embolism, which I didn’t understand. I immediately began to tell myself that if I had done something different I might have saved her. I was told by an EMT later that even he couldn’t have saved her had he witnessed it. The day after her death I began attending AA with the attitude of a Newcomer. I have since completed a second 4th step inventory and shared with a step study sponsor. Bought a house moving from Massachusetts to Texas and begun at step one with a new step study sponsor since my movers left my 4th step inventory notebook and AA Big Book in Massachusetts. May 25th of this year I found myself having been sober for almost half of my life, and to quote myself I’m living a life I had never had, or could have in my wildest dreams imagined. I now take healthy risks. I have been Baptized into a faithful relationship with a Higher power that allows me to look at my past without condemnation or resentment and to just be comfortable with myself. I have learned to love myself and let others love me, and to be honest with myself. I still have problems with sleep but it’s intermittent.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Hi Rene,

      You should be so very proud of yourself! You’ve never stopped trying to beat this demon. You’ve succeeded, failed and yet got up to continue the fight. I’m sure you will be successful going forward. It’s in your nature.

      You are a fighter! You don’t give up and crawl within yourself, at least not for long. Best of luck to you in the future.

      Bob

      Reply
      • July 8, 2020 at 10:33 am

        Thanks for your caring support for Rene, Bob!

        Reply
    • July 8, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Rene,
      Thank you for sharing a bit of your incredible life. Your story has given me hope. Bless you, for all that you’ve been through and all that you are.
      Erica

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve suffered from disturbed sleep from childhood, but it is different at the moment. Does CEN and trauma generally cause sleep problems?

    I’m trying to get out and exercise a bit to tire myself, but I get more stressed than normal when other people are near me and feel even more inclined to isolate. Thank you for the advice and help as always.

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Dear Mit, trauma definitely can cause disturbed sleep. I don’t think CEN causes sleep problems directly; it’s the unprocessed feelings that result from your CEN that can keep you up at night. Exercise will help! I encourage you to do so as much as you can while also following the safety guidelines.

      Reply
      • July 6, 2020 at 11:59 am

        Thank you, that makes a lot of sense. Hopefully one day I’ll be brave enough to actually do something about my issues instead of dancing around them. Best wishes.

        Reply
      • July 6, 2020 at 12:32 pm

        Dear Mit that time will probably not arrive on its own. You will need to make a decision to prioritize your own happiness and health.

        Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks, but I am taking Wellbutrin and Latuda already.

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      If you feel CEN applies to you, I recommend you call a CEN therapist from the list on my website and see if maybe you are having some feelings that you need to understand, express and use.

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks once again Dr Webb for an illuminating article. You’ve said things here I’ve never heard before (ie link between unprocessed emotions and sleeplessness) and suggested very practical remedies that I appreciate.

    Reply
    • July 6, 2020 at 7:11 am

      I’m glad Karen and I hope you will find t yourself sleeping better as a result.

      Reply
  • July 6, 2020 at 3:13 am

    Hi Dr. Jonice,
    Once again, I can identify with your words… mostly, numbers 3 and 5 but at least one other that I can’t recall as I write this comment. I have always been a night owl so to speak, even when working two jobs I was up until between 11:15 PM and 12 midnight most nights. But THIS is full blown and long term insomnia and it’s getting ridiculous!
    I enjoy reading as part of my bedtime routine. I do so every night–a magazine or book, but often on my kindle. I find that no matter how LONG I stay awake thinking it will make me sleepy enough, I just can’t sleep. I have tried a relaxing bath, I have tried mindless tv, just laying there with zero screen time, a light snack, tea, and most recently, Benedryl and now hydroxyzine. I hate medication but I also don’t like being awake all night, every night until at LEAST 8 A.M.
    Then, I literally can lay there awake another 1 or 2 hours, fall asleep –only to suddenly be awake 2 or 3 hours later. Finally, I either get back up or if I fall asleep again I am out until mid to late afternoon. I DO have untreated sleep apnea but haven’t gotten in for another sleep study yet due to the virus threat.
    Because my sleep schedule has been so messed up for about three years (started nowhere near this bad but has gotten progressively worse in the past several months) it seems to be affecting a lot. I now don’t take my blood pressure med or antidepressant until about 3 pm rather than mornings (the latter isn’t helping at all but finding someone for med management is not easy here–especially with covid still a threat). Also, I am now eating only one maybe two modest meals a day. I skip breakfast totally.
    I don’t know what is going on. I just feel lost, aimless, and exhausted. No energy for anything.

    Reply
    • July 6, 2020 at 7:15 am

      Dear VR, your sleep problems must be very frustrating! They could be a result of anxiety, depression, hormone fluctuations like menopause or aging. Or you could have Day/night reversal. But you can also try processing your feelings more and see if it helps. More medical evaluation may be needed whenever you can access it.

      Reply
      • July 7, 2020 at 3:40 am

        Thank you for your reply. Will definitely keep working on it and reassess with my primary care doctor. You gave me an idea I hadn’t thought of and my therapist hadn’t mentioned either. I wonder if hormonal stuff CAN make it worse because I actually ended up needing a sudden and complete hysterectomy just over two years ago. It’s been progressively worse as time went on! Lori

        Reply
      • July 7, 2020 at 5:14 pm

        Yes, hormone fluctuations like menopause are notoriously responsible for many sleep problems in women. Sadly, hardly anyone talks about it!

        Reply
  • July 6, 2020 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for this information it is really helpful as my night terrors, have started to return. I now have some ideas on how I can start to control them

    Reply
    • July 6, 2020 at 7:16 am

      You’re welcome Peter I hope it helps and I believe it will.

      Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Very interesting. I keep learning so much from you. Thank you.

    Reply
  • July 8, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Enjoyed the read but you really need an editor. Human beings lie down, chickens lay eggs. Your content is too good to allow this and other grammar mistakes to creep into your writing.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2020 at 10:30 am

      Hi Carole, my books are edited professionally but when I blog, I prefer to type the way people talk so that it feels personal and real. I’m not looking for perfection, I’m looking to connect readers with the material and with each other.

      Reply
  • July 8, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    If we had single payer option like Japan, Taiwan and Europe has, then maybe we wouldn’t worry about paying the bills if we get hit with Covid 19.

    Reply
    • July 9, 2020 at 7:38 am

      That is a good point Gunther. I’m sure many people are losing sleep over that.

      Reply
      • July 9, 2020 at 9:05 am

        Another point is people are wondering if they will get hit with the Covid 19 and how bad will it be for them?

        Reply
 

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