Emotional Numbness & Sleep


So I’m someone who suffers with emotional numbness and it pretty much sums up itself but it’s when you stop feeling emotions of any kind. I get episodes of this wretched numbness and it’s the worst thing but what I noticed was my sleep pattern changing, some days I sleep like a baby and other days I’m awake like an owl (like right now lol) so my question is, how do our emotions affect how or when we sleep? When I’m going through a phase, it keeps changing, anyone else?

Emotional numbness is just terrible and can affect you physically and mentally, if anyone needs support please reach out to loved ones and your GP!! You are not alone!!


For me I think my sleep or lack off sleep affects my emotions. Sometime the other way around .
I do get the numbness but only if I had a overload of emotions, if that makes sense.


I often go through emotional numbness I feel very lonely and separated from reality but can’t hide away from my own mind sounds crazy I know but it’s truly a fight within myself to stop the numbness


I couldn’t of put it clearer myself, unfortunately i think this is a battle we are all suffering in one way or another as being deprived of sleep is basically torture.

As horrible as it is, isnt it nice to be open about it and release we are far from alone.

Heres to 2022 and thanking sofi for what they have already done by bringing us to a platform together.


Morning @hennakamran09 thx so much for sharing this … how long have you felt this way and has it ever changed much or it’s been there always. I would love to see if @pamelaspence or @stephendahmermd have also experienced something similar in their practices. Have you found anything makes you feel more or better?


Thank you so much for being here together in this. I will tell you something I read a long time ago that made me strongly believe in the power of community. It was a scientific article about chronic pain. Nothing matters more for us than knowing we’re not alone or someone cares. Call it empathy. But you might have felt that if you go through a super talented and expert health care professional who is just doing their job under massive strain but you feel like you’re being processed … doesn’t feel great. I have felt that. I read about this study. It was done a while ago. It was two mice in two glass bubbles. One had something uncomfortable in his paw so was hobbling … at first the two couldn’t see each other. Then they removed the separating screen. The second mouse started to hobble a little bit (though nothing physically different about them) … and the first one started to hobble a little less. They could just see each other. The living world does empathy and cares. If we can reconnect with each other I think that may just help a little in how we feel. Thank you so much for showing us just how real that can be. :pray:


Hi @hennakamran09 , thanks so much for sharing this here. What a curious study @Kaveh!

There is definitely a chemistry link between our sleep and our emotions. From the crankiness anyone can have when they have a rubbish night of sleep all the way to the isolation and desperation which made sleep deprivation such a useful torture all over the world. If your brain doesn’t get the downtime it needs it’s literally swimming in chemicals and that impacts our ability to feel and think.

When we have connection with others, when we feel empathy, we release oxytocin into the mix - which is the hormone that makes us feel we belong, we are loved, we are connected, safe and it’s can also relieve pain. I guess that’s what happened with those mice!

Understanding what’s happening can help us stand back and see the feelings for what they really are. It can help to cope with them, but they are still very unpleasant. Doing something that raises oxytocin might be a way to come out of the numbness maybe?


So I found the study! Early on when I was doing some research in sofi I went down to the excellent collections at the British and Wellcome Libraries. I found a research that made a huge impact in sofi’s initial focus on medicinal plants … I will post that up separately … but when I was in the Wellcome Collection I found this section about “pain” …

… one of books I was reviewing was by Daniel M. Doleys …

… and sure enough, Chapter 11 was on “Empathy and Pain”, and this is what I read …

… and the strange study on our four legged friends that demonstrated the need for empathy when we are dealing with things.


Wow, nice find @Kaveh!

And thank you for illustrating it with your pictures. It makes it feel like you’ve removed the ‘separating screen’ and we can be right there with you, in the library during the early days of sofi’s conception phase :clap: :grin:



It’s come on not too long ago, I had this phase where I was overly emotional and I prayed to just stop feeling all of these overwhelming emotions but now that the numbness hit me, It’s worth having something than nothing seriously. It’s like having curry without salt, absolutely gut wrenching. I hate feeling this way because it’s like a reeling tape or despair but without emotions, if that makes any sense?


Sometimes I have noticed that it’s like the mind just can’t cope with such strong emotions without respite so the numbing of feelings is like an override switch.

I’m sorry this is distressing you. Do you have a good support network you can share with? Health practitioner you can speak to? Understand in these pandemic days that might be more tricky than usual…

I am always amazed by the power of just being in nature for helping open up cracks in despair and helping us to reconnect to the world again. It happens bit by bit. If you look up the Japanese art of forest bathing there are some great articles. In Scotland GPs can now prescribe being in nature as a medicine! Studies also show that walking in nature has a more positive impact on mental health than exercise taken elsewhere.

You don’t have to go all in forest-bathing, just visiting any form of nature every day is enough to get some benefit. It might be a tree in a city park, or a walk somewhere wooded if that’s possible.

Once when I was living in the inner city I walked by a patch of scrub land every day and just watched the plants there - it was my grounding and connection moment and over time I can see that it really helped.

I hope that might give you some ideas? But the key thing is that if it becomes overwhelming you reach out to your GP for support - whether they are busy or not…


I know that when I’m actually happy I sleep a lot better, which is not very often. My depression is very bad and it’s treatment resistant and most days I don’t ever want to get out of bed. I may not sleep the entire time but I don’t want to get out of bed. That being said when I am in a bad state, I sleep a lot longer but I still don’t sleep great. I’m plagued with nightmares that when I wake up I swear are real, and my schizophrenia is much worse when my depression is at its highest.


Did you ever find whether for you cognitive behavioural therapies can be useful?

Yeah I gave that a try but I can’t get past the hole it’s all in your head and it’ll easily go away kind of thing and talk therapy won’t work for me either because I won’t talk about all my baggage to a stranger.


I don’t know CBT very well but from the little that I know it’s about giving you tools rather than the couch like confessionals. But hopefully we can find some solace in the natural world to aid you on the journey :pray:


Hey Michelle. On just reading your post . Sometimes talking isn’t what we need. Have you ever though of breath work . Ive recently found it. And it blown my mind.
I call it my councilling with out talking.
Have a look at a guy called wim hof.
See if it something that you might be interested in . And have look in your area to see if there is anyone doing breath work.
I hope your feeling a bit better . Sending you much love and hope you find what works for you xxx