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Unbroken's avatar

How to overcome a fear of sleep?

Asked by Unbroken (10714points) January 31st, 2015

Obviously I do sleep. So this fear should be self correcting.. Given time, correct?

Well that is what I thought months ago. I only sleep when I’m exhausted. Or sometimes during the day or if people are around and awake.

See for a while there I would fall asleep and wake up in the hospital a day or more later. That scare seems like a thing of the past. Overall it has been several months since my last incident. But I still struggle with sleeping. Nightmares of accidents, emergency situations, the hospital getting my living wrong or throwing it out. Being at the mercy of others… Becoming a vegetable. Millions of tableaus.

I need to sleep at night. Get in synch with the rest of the world. Get in line with my circadian rhythm. It is important to my recovery and for optimizing my time with people and schedules.

I’ve tried soothing music, meditating taking pills..those worked a little too well. Waking up was arduous. Any other ideas floating in the ether?

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9 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Have you tried light? By that I mean using lights to help synch your circadian rhythm. Have plenty of brighter lights on during the day. Have them turn off when it is time to sleep and a timer turns them back on when it is almost time to wake up. Older, simple, mechanical timers are cheap. There are always a few for sale at GoodWill.
Don’t worry about the cost of leaving lights on. You live in a cold climate so all the heat generated by the lights merely goes into heating your living space. The extra you spend on electricity is offset by the what you spend on fuel for heat. Use “daylight” bulbs to simulate daylight. I’d even try a gro-light if it was at GoodWill.

As for the dreams…. Well… I can only speak from experience. It takes time for the nightmares to subside. Read a book or magazine while in bed. National Geographic, Scientific American, Popular Science…. anything that has bite sided articles. You’ll find those swirling in your head as Morpheus gently rocks you in his arms and the magazine slips to the floor.
And don’t eat anything 2 hours before going to bed.
Sleep tight.

Unbroken's avatar

I have used full spectrum lights. But you are right a group light might work better.


Tropical_Willie's avatar

Avoid “blue light” from mobile phones and computer screens for three hours before bedtime. Here is a Huffington Post article about “blue light”.

Unbroken's avatar

Wow cool I got a blue screen.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like a little quiet music, not raucous but just nice quiet stuff.

Unbroken's avatar

I did find some mellow acoustical music on songza which seems to be working better then everything else at this point.

My best success so far is just making sure I’m exhausted before I hit the sheets. But I still wake up frequently. Maybe more time is all I need.

longgone's avatar

To combat waking up in the night, maybe it would help you to have an audio book (or the radio) running? The human voices might fool your brain into believing you are not alone?

As to falling asleep, the only thing that helps me is a ritual which I follow every day. I don’t, sadly – but when I do, I sleep much better.

Unbroken's avatar

Hmm maybe that will help…the audio book or radio. It is something I hadn’t thought to try.

Routines are not my strong suit

longgone's avatar

^ Oh, I can relate! Though they do work wonders…

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