Sleep is one of the basic needs for a human body. It is just as important as eating, drinking and breathing. There is no one who does not wish to have a comfortable and relaxing sleep. Importance of having a good night’s sleep can be judged from the kind of irritation and exhaustion one may experience in case they don’t get to sleep enough. On one hand where people have an ultimate liking for sleep, things may not be as hospitable for others who have a strange fear of sleeping. This phobia of sleep is scientifically termed as Somniphobia.
Somniphobia is a sleeping disorder, where a person fears falling asleep. These fears may have many reasons. A person may fear having a nightmare, losing control in unconsciousness and in some cases people even fear the existence of the unknown. Although these fears may be harmless, yet a person can face a difficult time overcoming them in an effort to sleep. There were some reported cases where people suffered from panic attacks while just thinking of going through these feared episodes.
Causes of Somniphobia
Somniphobia can result due to other sleeping disorders. Some of these sleeping disorders can be dangerous to a host. This is one reason that such a patient may not want to sleep fearing the consequences he or she may have to face. Some of the major causes of Somniphobia are as follows:
- Sleep-talking is one major cause of Somniphobia. People who talk while sleeping are reluctant to sleep as they fear they may speak out something private.
- Myths and stories which suggest the presence of demons and ghosts around a sleeping person can keep a person awake all night. It commonly happens after watching horror movies or listening tohorrorstories.
- Some people fear of dying while asleep. Somniphobia patients are commonly found fearing the ‘ultimate sleep’.
- Sleep-walking is also a common cause and people are afraid of hurting themselves so they totally reject the idea of sleeping.
Symptoms of Somniphobia
Lack of sleep can hamper daily life schedule to a great extent. Patients suffering from Somniphobia generally find themselves going through certain physical and mental difficulties. Some of those common symptoms are mentioned below:
- Lack of concentration and reduced focus on studies, work and other social activities.
- Frequent episodes of illness and bad health.
- Laziness and fatigue during daytime.
- Abrupt mood swings and bad temper.
- Frequent Episodes of panic attacks.
Treatment for Somniphobia
Sleep researchers have suggested many physical and medical treatments to overcome Somniphobia. The disorder is treatable and a person can get rid of it if a proper treatment plan is followed.
- Deep breathing can help Somniphobia patients as it relieves patients of mental stress.
- Sleep therapists suggest talk therapy, gradual desensitization, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to overcome the fear of sleeping.
- In some extreme cases, doctors also prescribe anxiety medicines to Somniphobics.
Somniphobia is a sleeping disorder that can have a negative effect on a person’s daily lifestyle as it deprives a them of their basic necessity which is sleep. However, it is curable and somniphobic patients are suggested to consult a therapist immediately to avoid any major health risk.