Sleep disorders can cause some anxiety around sleeping. However, if you’re harboring a secret or feel worried about what you might say when you’re unconscious, it may lead to a phobia. They may worry that they’ll lose control of their body or speech, have horrific nightmares, or even that they’ll go to bed and never wake up again. Some report that they’re increasingly afraid of sleeping after a traumatic incident like the death of a loved one, a physical attack or any other type of experience that results in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). When someone has somniphobia, they’ll often report that their nightmares are so disturbing and realistic that they don’t want to go to bed for fear of reliving those visions. Remember when we said to develop a nightly routine to help you fall asleep? Usually, phobias are diagnosed if fear and anxiety cause distress and difficulty in your everyday life. Last medically reviewed on April 29, 2019, Anxiety may occur at night when you're trying fall asleep. A scary movie may make you feel nervous about going to bed. The term Somniphobia is taking from the Latin language where Somnus means sleep and Phobos means fear. However, some people suffer from the so-called fear of sleep, also known as somniphobia, which leads to traumatic experiences and images of sleep. Are you afraid of the dark? Not getting enough rest due to this type of disorder affects cognitive abilities, including memory loss. Transparency Disclosure – We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. If you’re worried about what will happen to you when you’re unconscious, remind yourself that nothing truly terrible will occur if you’ve taken proper precautions. acidophobia), and in medicine to describe hypersensitivity to a stimulus, usually sensory (e.g. The word Somniphobia is derived from Latin somnus meaning sleep and phobos meaning fear. The most severe cases might require the help of an expert, but again, there are plenty of professionals who can assist with talk therapy, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy or gradual desensitization. Fear Does Our Fear of Sleep Mirror Our Fear of Death? But but some sleep disorders could play a part in its development, including: If you have either of these sleep disorders, you may eventually start dreading going to sleep because you don’t want to deal with distressing symptoms. Read on to learn more about somniphobia, including symptoms, causes, and treatment approaches. Nightmares usually occur during the stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM). Though it seems far-fetched, don’t discount it until you try it. You’ll learn to challenge the thoughts when you experience them and reframe them so they cause less distress. But for most cases, exposure therapy is the most effective treatment option. Another possibility is that by speaking the words, your brain is able to let go of the fear and allow you to fall asleep. If you’re aware there’s a risk of death associated with your health concern, you could become anxious about dying in your sleep and eventually develop somniphobia. We need it to survive, but it is a time when we are at our most vulnerable. I have an intense fear of the dark and sleep caused by trauma and night terrors. It's impossible to name all of the possible fears that people can have, but here's a list of the most common and unique ones, including a fear of…. You may be diagnosed with somniphobia if your fear of sleeping: Not all phobias require treatment. People with this condition often have an abundance of stress hormones like cortisol in their system, which further acts to keep them wired and awake. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), over 50 percent of adults say … And Ki … Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. There’s also the sad and overly depressing thought that when you fall asleep alone, you’ll also wake up alone, and maybe you’re afraid of being alone your entire life. While experiencing anxiety attacks may cause many people to feel exhausted or fatigued, the act of falling asleep may actually … If someone has had a close call with danger or death when sleepwalking, it’s only natural that might be afraid of that happening again. Panic attacks occur when a person experiences a sudden onset of fear and distress. This practice involves going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening, keeping your bedroom dark, and avoiding naps after lunch. Get More Info: How To Get Off Sleeping Pills. Proper sleep hygiene is usually the first place to start when treating a disorder. And worse, if people are too scared to get their nightly dose of zzz’s, they’ll experience other health challenges as well since sleeping is necessary for both physical and mental well-being. A trained doctor or specialist may be able to diagnose your problem and recommend a course of treatment relatively quickly. hydrophobic), in biology to describe organisms that dislike certain conditions (e.g. Not only is it potentially embarrassing, but it could be dangerous. Fear of the dark, monsters in the closet, or simply anxiety about going to bed – these are all relatively common in young children at some point during their childhood. Most of us experience nightmares on occasion. They could fear a lack of being in control when they’re unconscious and think something terrible could happen to them. Posted Aug 19, 2018 The patient writes and rehearses a new version of their nightmare during the day so they can regain control and conquer their fears. If you think you're seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, or feeling things when you're asleep, you may be experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations. Anxiety can cause you to not sleep well. By acknowledging that your bedtime could be interrupted, and even expecting it, the brain begins to relax and allows you to get the rest you need. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Sometimes an objective party with medical training is the best choice. When used as a treatment for insomnia, this form of therapy often focuses on helping patients let go of the fear that getting inadequate sleep will make them useless the next day. Being afraid of sleeping alone could be caused by a variety of factors. As you can imagine, this could make someone fear the idea of going to bed at night. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Thus, Somniphobia is the fear of sleeping or falling asleep. In some cases, it’s fairly easy to avoid the object your fear. Then, when you’ve mastered these cues, you may be encouraged to take brief naps — with a partner, parent, or trusted friend present in the house — to reinforce that you can wake up safely. During periods of rest, the brain uses this downtime to learn, process information, and consolidate memories. Treatment may depend on the underlying cause of somniphobia. How did anybody find that out? But treatments can help. We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here. If someone breaks into your home, there’s no one to alert or defend you. Automatonophobia is the fear of human-like figures, like mannequins, wax figures, or statues. Experts aren’t sure about the exact cause of somniphobia. However, for some people, they find that if they wake in the middle of the night or in the morning, they’re unable to move. This approach helps you identify and work through fears related to sleep. One thing to keep in mind: there’s not much you can do about your worries from the bedroom. Another option for further exposure therapy is sleeping in a sleep lab or with a medical professional who stays awake while you sleep, whether it’s a nap or overnight. You might also fear things that could happen while … Mental health symptoms specific to somniphobia might include: Physical symptoms of somniphobia often include: It’s not possible to entirely avoid sleeping. Whether you have a mild fear of the dentist or a phobia that prevents you from going, we've outlined strategies and treatments to help. Put simply, sleep dread is the fear of falling asleep. And when the sufferer does happen to fall unconscious, their rest is often fitful, low-quality, and frequently interrupted. Podophobia – The fear of feet. From figuring out how to buy a mattress online, suggesting ones that are good for different needs and body types, or breaking down the newest science behind technology and wellness breakthroughs, Sleep Advisor has you covered. Somniphobia has also been linked to a fear of dying. Somniphobia causes extreme anxiety and fear around the thought of going to bed. Ensuring a Restful Environment Establish a bedtime ritual. Fear of Sleep Lyrics: How did anybody find out where I was? When we become conscious again, the ability to move is thankfully restored. Some cultures even believe that the body could be possessed by demons or spirits. For most of us, going to bed at night is a reward. That’s why treatment is generally recommended for any condition that keeps you from getting restful sleep. They can give you an accurate diagnosis and support you through the process of overcoming it. Most people speak nonsense and gibberish when they talk during the night. Obesity.Sleeping too much or too little could make you weigh too much, as well. Have you ever thought that you might go to bed and never wake up? Other names for it include somniphobia, hypnophobia, sleep phobia, and sleep anxiety. These can be … Here are the most common: Fortunately, this condition is rare in adults, though it does affect more women than men. I am terryfied every single night. Talking about fear of sleeplessness when presenting CBT-I as an option, or at the start of sleep restriction, might encourage more sleep onset insomniacs to try it and stick with it long enough … Continued. Nightmare disorder is referred to by doctors as a parasomnia — a type of sleep disorder that involves undesirable experiences that occur while you're falling asleep, during sleep or when you're waking up. If you believe you have somniphobia, it’s best to start by talking to a mental health professional. By doing the same thing each evening right before bed, you’ll eventually train yourself to fall asleep almost automatically. Stress or anxiety. We get to crawl under the covers, relax, and enjoy several hours of peaceful, uninterrupted shuteye. However, there are things you can do to help ease them. All rights reserved. It can be seen in children, too, but they’ll usually outgrow it, either with the help of their parents or a behavioral specialist. Their brain is awake, but their body is still sleeping. While some of these worries have no grounds in logic, others are genuine fears that carry a significant risk. 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