Mental health

I can't sleep at night. I haven't had continuous sleep at night for a week already and this has never happened to me before. I am so tired. In the day, I can't focus. My palms and feet are also consistently sweating and cold. It is like I am anxious but I am not sure about what. Is it a phase? Is it a serious problem?

1 Replies
  1. Diana
  2. Psychologist
  3. 28 Dec 2020
  4. Expert
Pending Moderation

Most people experience transient and non-persistent insomnia at certain time points in their lives. However, if your insomnia persists, it is recommended that you see a sleep doctor or specialist.

Mental health issues are a strong underlying factor associated with insomnia. Those who are prone to anxiety or worry-prone personality or cognitive styles, or those who tend to repress emotions over periods of time, have been associated with insomnia disorder. One common reason behind insomnia is a marked increase in stress, such as undergoing major life or work transitions, or feeling the effects of pandemic fatigue and stress. Over time, the factors that precipitate insomnia might differ from the factors that continue to perpetuate it.

There are stress-relieving techniques that are useful in tackling sleep difficulties. Such techniques include the practice of mindfulness. If you suspect your insomnia was brought about by emotional or psychological concerns, you may also wish to consider seeing a psychologist to work through the underlying causes of insomnia.

Another reason could be your sleep environment. Noise, light and temperature in our sleep environment all play a role in initiating and maintaining sleep. Consider making changes to the sleeping environment to create a more conducive sleeping environment for us (e.g having a night light, switching on the air conditioner to a comfortable temperature).

If insomnia affects other areas of your daily functioning (i.e. interferes with our ability to stay awake and focus) over a prolonged period of time, you may wish to consult a sleep doctor or psychologist.

  1. Shi Pei Tay
  2. 25 Feb 2021
I am not sure if this is considered mindfulness, but I do breathing exercises when I have difficulties falling asleep and most of the time, it works! Try breathing in for 4s, hold for 4s then breathing out for 4s. It might be a bit difficult at the start, so don't fret if you cannot hold or breathe out for 4s. Just adjust it accordingly to your own rhythm, like 3s.
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