Coping With Fear of Sleep: Symptoms, Causes & How to Handle

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People sometimes have problems falling asleep. They feel restless and struggle while trying to sleep, overcome with sleep anxiety. Some people even have a a fear of sleep, worried that they might not wake up.

Sleep is essential for the physical and mental health. If you have a hard time sleeping the reasons can be both physical and mental. But the issue can also be anxiety about the act of sleeping itself.

There are two closely related phobias associated with the fear of sleep.

  1. Somniphobia: Fear of going to sleep.
  2. Clinophobia: The fear of going to bed.

The general reason people have this anxiety related to sleeping is due to the anxiety of possible nightmares, bed wetting or not waking up from sleep. These people have such a fear of sleep that they truly find it terrifying to sleep.

This fear of sleeping is more common in people than you might believe. This anxiety also spawns other sleep related disorders, like sleep paralysis and sleep walking.

7 Causes of Sleep Anxiety and Fear of Sleep:

If you wonder at the cause of fear of, then you are exactly in the right place. Let’s look at the seven root causes of sleep anxiety, somniphobia and clinophobia.

1. Atrocious Nightmares:

Every person experience nightmares in their lives. But some people have nightmares while sleeping regularly. People who have somniphobia can have dreadful nightmares that make them fear sleeping. And they can find it hard to sleep because of their constant nightmares and fear that sleeping will bring these nightmares.

Dreadful nightmare can lead to the fear of sleep

2. Anxiety Is A Sister Of Fear Of Sleep:

People who suffer from anxiety may also have a fear of sleeping. They might find it hard to sleep or have nightmares. And they also think that if they sleep, something terrible could happen to them.

3. Sleep Paralysis:

Many people have sleep paralysis. It is a condition where your mind is awake, but your body cannot function or move. It is truly frightening. People who have sleep paralysis get it in a recurring fashion. People who suffer from sleep paralysis understandably may fear the idea of sleeping or going to bed.

4. Sleep Walking:

We often saw in horror movies that someone is walking while they are asleep. Sleep walking can be a horrifying and dangerous experience for a person.

People can hurt themselves and can harm other people due to sleepwalking. Those who suffer from sleepwalking might face sleep anxiety because they fear hurting others and themselves.

Sleep walking often lead to somniphobia - the fear of sleep
Sleepwalking is dangerous

5. Fear of Death:

Fear of death while sleeping can also cause sleep anxiety. People may think that they will never wake up if they sleep or may go into a coma. It can be dreadful for people who have somniphobia.

6. Sleep Talking:

People not only speak nonsense while being drunk. Some people also say stuff that sounds crazy in their sleep. If you suffer from sleep talking you may feel you will reveal some secret while sleeping or just may be embarrassed by the strange things you may say while sleeping. So it is easy to understand why people with sleep talking might also have a fear of sleep.

7. Traumatic Incidents:

Somniphobia can also be caused by PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). People may find it hard to sleep after a traumatic incident, like losing a loved one or an accident. And it can bring out the fear of sleep in people.

Losing a beloved can cause fear of sleep in a person.

Effects of Sleep Anxiety and Fear of Sleep

Not getting proper sleep can affect your health. People who lack sleep can have cognitive issues. It can cause health risks. It makes you less productive. If this phobia is not treated, it can have severe side effects on your health, mental health and overall wellbeing.

Sleep anxiety and severe lack of sleep can cause:

  1. Risk of Seizures
  2. Depression
  3. Increased Risk of Heart Disease

  4. Risk of Blood Pressure

  5. Frustration

  6. Emotional Instability

  7. Risk of Stroke

  8. Risk of Asthma Attacks

  9. Destabilized Immune System

  10. Slow Thinking
  11. Worsened Memory
  12. Lack of Energy
  13. Mood Changes
  14. Obesity
  15. Immunodeficiency
  16. Diabetes
  17. Hormonal Instability
  18. Poor Decision Making
  19. Reduced Attention Span
  20. And more…

If left untreated, somniphobia can put a sufferer’s life at risk. It is a serious fear, but lack of sleep has some even more serious consequences.

Lets take a look at some of the symptoms of fear of sleep:

6 Symptoms of Sleep Anxiety and Fear of Sleep

If you feel like you fear sleep and don’t know about its symptoms, you are exactly in the right place. Here we are going to discuss 6 symptoms of sleep anxiety. 

1. Fear of Sleep Causes Fatigue:

When you don’t get enough sleep to function, you might feel fatigued. You get tired while working or feel restlessness.

2. Mood Swings Happens Because of Fear of Sleep:

Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood. And you might feel things uninteresting or get bored from things. You may get moody all the time and avoid talking to people.

Lack of Sleep can cause mood swings
Mood Swings

3. Fear of Sleep Causes Tiredness:

If you don’t sleep at night, you might feel tired in the daytime and won’t feel like functioning.

4. Fear of Sleep Can Cause Panic Attacks:

Due to this phobia, you might face panic attacks at the idea of sleeping. And you might get panicked because of the thought of going to bed.

5. Trouble Focusing:

Lack of proper sleep will affect you from focusing on your work or things. It can happen because you feel worried about your sleep routine.

6. Fear of Sleep Causes Loss of Memory:

Somniphobia can harm your cognitive abilities. It can cause memory loss, and you may find it hard to remember things.

Nighttime is for our mind and body to relax to let us function in the daytime. But if the brain won’t get the rest, your bodies biological need for sleep is not satisfied

10 Tips on Dealing With The Fear of Sleep:

Getting adequate sleep is essential for your health. An eight-hour sleep routine (or at least close to it) is a must for everyone to be productive and function appropriately in doing your daily chores. Following are some tips, and sticking to them will help you overcome your fear of sleep.

Here are some tips for dealing with your sleep anxiety:

1. See a Doctor:

It’s crucial to get yourself treated if you have somniphobia for a very long time. Sleep anxiety can distress your daily life and can make you unproductive and can potentially be very unhealthy.

And you may find things hard to do. In this situation, it is essential to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. Reaching out to a doctor for help can be the first step to improve your sleep routine.

2. Sleep Hygiene Helps with Fear of Sleep:

Getting a good night’s sleep, which is essential to stay healthy. It may sound silly, but the answer can be as simple as going to bed early and waking up early.

While that can be easier said than done, having a firm routine and practicing sleep hygiene can help.

What is sleep hygiene? Here are some of the requirements

  1. Have a sleep schedule you don’t deviate from
  2. Do not nap in the daytime.
  3. Keep your bedroom cozy and dark.
  4. Avoid late night TV or laptop use.
  5. Limit caffeine or nicotine

These are just a few of the tricks getting better sleep. Most of them obvious, but still many people do not follow all these rules.

To see more ideas to getting good sleep, check out this article with 41 tips for getting to sleep at night.

Healthy sleep habit helps with the fear of sleep
Healthy sleep hygiene

3. Keep a Journal:

Start writing a journal. It will help you release your worries on the paper. You can write anything that you feel by the thought of sleeping. You can also write your essential work, and it will remind you to get proper sleep.

You can also have a section in your journal where you track your sleep. Sleep tracking will show you patterns that may help you to realize more triggers for your lack of sleep.

Make a to-do list about the things you want to do. You can also list your favorite hobbies and activities and can become productive.

4. Create Right Sleep Environment:

The environment plays an essential role in helping you get proper sleep. Avoid having noisy things in your room. Drink a cup of warm milk, read a book before sleeping, or try to do skincare.

And this will soon convert into your nighttime routine and will help you get a sound sleep.

5. Meditation Helps with Fear of Sleep:

Meditation can help you with your sleeping anxiety. It will also help your mind to stay focused on things. And Long term meditation can help you a lot with your sleeping phobia.

You can meditate before going to bed, and it will help you have a sound sleep.

Meditation will relax your mind and body and help you sleep.
Meditation Is Essential

6. Exercise Daily:

Exercise can improve your health. It can help you improve your sleep routine. Try doing exercise in the afternoon, and it will help you improve your sleep routine. Exercise can also help you release your anxiety and fears.

7. Get Help:

Getting the help of a doctor or loved ones is important if you’re facing the fear of sleep for a long time. When you talk with your family and friends, it will calm you and reduce your sleep anxiety.

8. Embrace your Fears:

Don’t feel ashamed of your fears. And try to fight your fears by acknowledging them. If you write your worries in a journal and do something about how you can let go of them, you will soon find away.

And this will help you get better with your sleep anxiety.

9. Don’t Drink Too Much Caffeine:

Avoid taking stimulants before going to bed. It will increase your anxiety and can impact your health. Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine will affect your sleep. And you will face difficulty coping up with your phobia.

Caffeine can increase your anxiety.
Caffeine Affect Sleep

10. Let Go of The Unhealthy Habits:

Develop healthy habits like sleeping on time and doing mediation. Make Dinner at the right time and avoid eating unhealthy or junk food before bed. Because it will make you restless, and you won’t get a night of better sleep.

If you also avoid using your phone and excessive social media before bed, it will help you a lot with your fear of sleep.

A Final Word on Fear of Sleep:

We can’t change the fact that night of sound sleep is essential to have a healthy mind and a healthy life. Every person has different symptoms that will lead to a fear of sleep. There is no shame in getting help to overcome your fears of sleeping.

There are many reasons like stress, anxiety, and poor health that can lead to sleep discomfort. But there are also so many ways to help you with your sleep anxiety and live a better and healthy life.

If your life is affected by your fear of sleep, it is never too late to seek help because you deserve to live a better life and get a good nights sleep.

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