Sleep Difficulties Resurface during Crisis


Sleep is an aspect of mental health that fascinates me. I have written posts on sleep hygiene, other sleep techniques, and discussed this aspect of mental health with several of my clients.

The area may be of interest to me because I, like many individuals, have issues with sleep. I used to suffer from chronic insomnia – usually associated with anxiety. I would sit in bed and hamster wheel thoughts – never really getting anywhere in my thinking and obsessively focusing on things I could not control.

The hardest part of dealing with anxiety and sleep is that the tools that help take time and effort. Working through my trauma and keeping better sleep hygiene are some of the things that have been the most helpful. But that’s hard normally – add the stress of isolation due to COVID-19 and it feels nearly impossible.

I’ve relapsed on my insomnia and definitely struggled to maintain sleep hygiene routines. If you are struggling with this right now, or noticed your sleep getting worse over the last few weeks – you are not alone!

What are some steps that can be taken?

I’ve focused on the small steps. Not taking a nap one day might be an achievement I can’t keep on a different day. Some nights I might bring my phone to bed – where others I am able to put it away. Slowly I will get back to a pattern and rhythm that helps me manage my night-time anxiety effectively.

Pick a small step as a goal. Maybe that small step is exercise. Maybe that small step is routine. Maybe that small step is putting your phone away. Maybe that small step is putting night settings on your phone. Maybe that small step is just acknowledging that sleep is hard right now.

Do not shame yourself! You are doing everything you can. This is something that is hard at the best of times. You can make it through this to the other side.

Reach out for help. If you are struggling with sleep – reach out to one of our counsellors today. We can help build up your coping, give you strategies to start with, or just give you an ear to understand.

We are offering short-term reduced rates (sliding scale) or probono to individuals who are in challenging financial circumstances. Finances shouldn’t be the barrier to your mental health at this time. Reach out today and see what options are available. Take the small step. Email or call 403-454-7600.

Reach out to Kate at if you are needing assistance with sleep and remember – you are not alone in this.