Somniphobia, the uncontrollable fear of falling asleep: what it is, causes and symptoms

Somniphobia, the uncontrollable fear of falling asleep: what it is, causes and symptoms

Does the moment of rest cause you terrible anguish? You may be suffering from somniphobia, the uncontrollable fear of falling asleep. Let's find out what are the causes and the main symptoms

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Sleeping well is essential for our mental and physical health, but for some people, falling asleep is a real nightmare. It happens to those who suffer from somnophobia, also known as hypnophobia or clinophobia, which is the uncontrollable and unjustified fear of falling asleep.

Typical symptoms include agitation before bed, nausea, excessive sweating, and sometimes outright panic attacks. Let's find out what it is, the main causes and symptoms.


Somniphobia: cos'è


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The dictionary of phobias defines it as - an abnormal and unwarranted persistent fear of sleep. Sufferers tend to associate the unconscious state of sleep with insanity or even death.

These people, frightened by the idea of ​​losing control, often fear going crazy during sleep, suffering accidents while sleeping or even dying, sometimes associating dreams with real delusions.

Somniphobia: causes


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According to reports from Healthline le causes are not yet fully understood but experts believe that, in some cases, the disorder may arise due to insomnia or other sleep problems. Such as the so-called sleep paralysis or nightmare disorder, characterized by recurrent nightmares, which frighten the person to the point of causing him to develop a real phobia for the moment of rest.

Other possible causes are childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder associated with nightmares, but also an uncontrollable fear of death.

Sleepiness: symptoms


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Somniphobia can cause numerous symptoms, not only before bedtime, but sometimes during the day as well. Here are some reported by Healthline:

  • nausea;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • excessive sweating;
  • chills;
  • panic attacks;
  • tachycardia;
  • persistent distress before going to bed;
  • irritability and mood swings;
  • in children crying and various resistances at bedtime.

It happens that people with somniphobia leave the lights or the TV on to deal with the fear, and resort to alcohol or other substances to contain the terror.

If somniphobia affects the quality of daily sleep, physical and mental health, has lasted for several months and causes persistent anxiety and distress at the time of rest, it is important to contact a professional who can recommend appropriate therapy. The treatments can be different according to individual needs and help to rediscover the pleasure of sleep, also to the benefit of psychophysical health.

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