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I'm Scared Of Going To Sleep, And I Don't Know Why

Lately, in addition to my DSPS, I've been experiencing fear of going to sleep. I don't exactly know how to pinpoint it. I'm not prone to nightmares, and I don't have fears about particular things--I'm not afraid, for example, that someone's going to break into my dorm and mug me.

But right about the time that I start thinking I should go to bed--late already, as I said, due to my DSPS--I start to get antsy. My heart starts racing, and it's hard to bring myself to get ready for bed. And if I can get ready for bed, I toss around trying to see things.

So far the only thing I've been able to do to combat this is sleep with all the lights on in my lounge (I live in a suite) and with a nightlight on. I don't have any roommates, so it's not embarrassing or anything, but I'm confused. I've never been afraid of the dark before, and I don't know why I seem to be now. Also, I really have a hard time sleeping when the lights are on, so it's just very frustrating.

I've had DSPS since I was a freshman in high school (I'm a junior at uni now). When I was in high school, it was an issue because I had to be up for school the next day: I'd be up until 2 or 3 in the morning and then get up at 6:00 the next day for school. Sometimes I didn't even bother going to sleep because it was so hard to get out of bed--it was almost easier to just stay awake the whole time. But when I didn't have to get up for school, I slept fine. I would sleep all weekend, no problem.

When I transferred to uni, I naturally took a job with flexible hours and night classes to accommodate my sleep schedule, and it hasn't been an issue. I would normally go to bed around 2 or 3 in the morning and then get up at 10 or 11 and get ready for class.

A couple weeks ago I came down with a bad bug. I stayed on the couch in my lounge for 5 days. My friends brought me food, and I mostly just slept--like 16 hours a day--and watched TV.

Ever since the bug has been gone, my sleep schedule has been wackier than usual. I get scared to go to sleep at night, like I said up top, and don't fall asleep until between 5 am and 9 am--and though I have afternoon/night classes, they're not THAT late. It's really frustrating, and I don't know what to do about it. Once I fall asleep I sleep fine, but I can't get up in the morning any more and I'm sure I'm racking up a huge sleep debt.

Comments for I'm Scared Of Going To Sleep, And I Don't Know Why

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Dec 01, 2014
confidence NEW
by: Anonymous

Sleeping will probably be really difficult if you keep thinking about it. The way I confronted this fear was just by sleeping yes simply sleeping I knew everything would be okay not only because I was now confident but because I knew it was all in my head. If you believe in God trust me it will be so much easier as I'm not that close to church I do believe in God I've prayed and put my thoughts out to him.everyone has their own way to do this but it's just my method. I know my ways. I have also put my hope in his hands and it has worked he's big in my life it helps me sleep it keeps me calm . If you're from another religion or don't believe then be confident because it's all in your head .

Dec 01, 2014
confidence NEW
by: Anonymous

Sleeping will probably be really difficult if you keep thinking about it. The way I confronted this fear was just by sleeping yes simply sleeping I knew everything would be okay not only because I was now confident but because I knew it was all in my head. If you believe in God trust me it will be so much easier as I'm not that close to church I do believe in God I've prayed and put my thoughts out to him.everyone has their own way to do this but it's just my method. I know my ways. I have also put my hope in his hands and it has worked he's big in my life it helps me sleep it keeps me calm . If you're from another religion or don't believe then be confident because it's all in your head .

Dec 27, 2014
I have the same problem NEW
by: Anonymous

ID didn't read the whole thing but From the first couple of paragraphs I have the same issue, I don't want to go to sleep and I have no clue why, I guess it's just because I don't remember half the things I dream about and also that I don't remember when it happens. I've tried asking my dad for help but he is just scaring me I need help :'''''(

May 07, 2015
It is a daily struggle NEW
by: Anonymous

It has just got worse for me. I am terrified of sleeping :(

Jun 02, 2015
This should help NEW
by: Anonymous

My advice would be to wear maybe one headphone in your ear and listen to some relaxing music that should help you sleep maybe something just instrument try to look some up on pandora or maybe use something that you would study with I listen to the vitamin string quartet they help a lot 🎻🎻🎻🎢🎢

Jun 10, 2015
AfraId to sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I have night terrors and I also don't feel worthy of sleep. Sometimes when I haven't slept for a few days I'm afraid if I go to sleep I won't wake up.

Jun 15, 2015
Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) NEW
by: Andrew K Fletcher

Hi, I have been researching sleep related conditions for over 20 years. My work is in raising awareness that we are sleeping on a flat bed without giving it a second thought.
In 1994 I made an amazing discovery in how gravity drives our circulation and in doing so I questioned when people adopted sleeping on a flat bed.

If we go back in history, the Ancient Egyptians slept on inclined beds, raised 15 cm / 6 inches higher at the head end, causing the bed to slope down from head to toe.
I believe you are more aware of flat beds being a problem than most and would find a great deal of help on my website:
The advice is free and altering your bed is free so what do you have to lose by exploring it?

Jun 15, 2015
Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) NEW
by: Andrew K Fletcher

Hi, I have been researching sleep related conditions for over 20 years. My work is in raising awareness that we are sleeping on a flat bed without giving it a second thought.
In 1994 I made an amazing discovery in how gravity drives our circulation and in doing so I questioned when people adopted sleeping on a flat bed.

If we go back in history, the Ancient Egyptians slept on inclined beds, raised 15 cm / 6 inches higher at the head end, causing the bed to slope down from head to toe.
I believe you are more aware of flat beds being a problem than most and would find a great deal of help on my website: inclinedbedtherapy.c o m
The advice is free and altering your bed is free so what do you have to lose by exploring it?

Jun 17, 2015
I need help NEW
by: Anonymous

Me to i Am scared to sleep I tell my mom and she says you with God but I can't sleep im too scared I don't have nightmares or anything im not scared for a guy to come in im just scared i don't know why I really need help and I'm 14 years old I wish this came out of me

Jul 08, 2015
Im scaried of creepy stuff like ghost NEW
by: Anonymous

Im 14 and i get scared at night.I get scared mostly because of noises i hear at night.Sometimes i sleep with a light in my hand because i get scared of a monster or a ghost like RIGHT IN MY not really like a chicken or anything but i just get scared at night and its really annoying.any advice will help thank you.

Aug 20, 2015
Need help please😊 NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 12 years old and just recently I have been having a huge problem falling asleep. I'm afraid someone will break in I think but I don't know why. I am now living my day dreading going to bed cause I hate feeing scared. My stomach has butterflies and it's just awful. How do people fall asleep so fast. Why can't i? Please help

Sep 04, 2015
I'm scared NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm to scared to sleep because when I do fall asleep I dream about scary stuff and I always end up never sleeping at all I need help but don't know where to find it I'm hopeless.

Sep 08, 2015
I Wish i Could Sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm the same, i'm ok in the day and can sleep just fine, but come night time i'm too afraid to sleep at night, this awful fear i'm going to die, or someone is going to kill me. I Pray and believe in God, but there's still this deep fear. I don't know how this started because i'm not afraid of the dark, but have to now sleep with the light on. Any noise i hear make's me feel jumpy, i feel like crying, but i just want to go to sleep, i crave sleep, but this fear is destroying my life, as soon as it's 5am and light comes i can sleep, but i have to get up at 9am, and i am like a zombie, what is this fear, where has it come from, i'm glad i'm not the only one, but feel for all of you on here, going though this tough ordeal.

Sep 14, 2015
Mind of a child NEW
by: Anonymous

I don't know if I have DSPS, I do have trouble falling most nights, but I also get scared to go to sleep sometimes. It usually happens when I watch creepy stuff, which I know probably means I shouldn't watch creepy stuff, but I can't help it. But yeah, when I watch creepy or scary stuff during the day, later that night I usually end up being scared to sleep because I'm afraid something will come and attack me. I have the mind of a 6 year old. πŸ˜‹

Sep 25, 2015
FUcking sleep NEW
by: Annonymous

Honestly, I am afraid of sleep because I'll be afraid of what I'll be dreaming or maybe it's because of something else I'm not so sure of. I feel so uncomfortable I crave to rest and yet my anxiety has me to tight around my neck, I want to scream and cry my frustration. It's horrible having to "wake up" the next day so early in the morning to go through a whole day so restless and knowing the routine will continue as such. Why is something so simple making everything so complicated? It's damaging me so much. This stupid thing is making me miserable. Come on, all I have to do is close my damned eyes and nothing. Nothing happens. I am shitty at sleeping. Ridiculous.

Sep 29, 2015
Can't sleep til 5 am...on a good day NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow just read all these comments. I am 31 yrs old can't sleep til around 5 am EVERY night. I stopped working, school, friends, and life period. It has gone on for 8 years. I have recently seen a psychiatrist and have been told that, for my case, it is a manifestation of the unconscious needed to be protected by father (protector) and mother (nurturer) and my speaking logic to myself like my parents are literally 3 feet away from me and thisnis unnecessary to stay awake to try to protect myself and my parents from intruding harm. He said im vigilant in being the guard by staying awake listening for noises. So my situation may be different from yours but thought I would share just in case. I have also been told i parent myself and my parents as a parental child. I pray that myself and my family/loved ones wouldn't come into trial, tribulation, or testing, I pray in tongues, I pray protection from all harm and evil. I praise for everything we have been kept from and for all the good. I turn on worship music and cry out and tell him I trust him. But nonetheless I still am stuck. Praying therapy works. Praying for all of u and your situation. Bless.

Oct 13, 2015
I hate the thought of sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I honestly think im paranoid or something i dont sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning or not at all and i try to force myself to stay up constantly during the day it becomes hard to pay attention in school and once night comes im all anxious and nervous to go to sleep all over again and force myself to stay up AGAIN i dont know what to do anymore i feel like all my life is going go be like this

Oct 14, 2015
Sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I can't get to sleep and I get terrorfied I am 11
Years old and when I tell my parents they say
That I am being sarcastic, pretending and shout
Because I am not asleep.this is soo annoying
Can anyone help?

Oct 28, 2015
Sleeping NEW
by: Anonymous

I can't sleep because I feel that someone is watching me and I hardly sleep and so therefore I have to keep my lamp in my bedroom on.😒

Nov 05, 2015
i had a idea NEW
by: simran

put your headfone in your ear listening music
don't think anything
believe on god
think positive
the thing is that you would die or nightmare is create in your head
my first advise is that do not think so much
because when you think you blood crculation in your
mind going so fast and then you think lots of things
so do not think nagative things
believe on god pray and listening music
thats all

Nov 22, 2015
Help NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 13 and have the same problem, including i was diagnosed with anxiety/panic attacks/severe depression/ADHD/hypersensitivity. I'm on 2 medications for the day and 4 at night, which don't take away the fear i always have, but it knocks me out if i try to sleep. (Most of the time.) I'm on prazosin for nightmares, and I have been to 2 mental health facilities for suicidal ideation/attempts/ extreme anger,and anxiety attacks. My therapist has helped, and i suggest you talk to someone. :)

Nov 25, 2015
I sm 9 anf i cant slleep NEW
by: Anonymous

Tcfffff hell I cant slep and I hat my mom

Nov 26, 2015
I'm terrified. NEW
by: Anonymous

I can never fall to sleep easily because I can't convince myself that I will wake up again if I do fall asleep, it's ruining my life and I don't think there's anything to stop it.

Dec 20, 2015
Can't sleep & hating it NEW
by: Anonymous

I too have a strange fear of going to sleep. Have had two sleep studies & wear my CPAP religiously. My sleep issues span over15 years & have gotten worse following 3 extensive spinal surgeries & my medical retirement.
I don't have any specific fear of dying or nightmares, so I'm attempting to find the root of my issue. I am convinced that the majority of my sleepless nights are not a result of my chronic pain.
Most of the time, I am having negative thoughts about trivial things but can't seem to shut off my brain.
I've read extensively on this area & every case seems to be based on emotion & the mental---but it's almost impossible to deal with an underlying issue when you DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS !!! It's

Jan 01, 2016
Prayer and Good things NEW
by: Anonymous

The same thing where I listen for every noise and am
afraid to sleep because I think someone will hurt me has been happening for at least four years for me. My experiences started with a scary movie I watched long ago, so I warn people to be careful what they watch. I have learned that prayer to God is the only way that I can actually sleep. I've also found it helpful to get into a comfortable position and stay there and think about only good things.

Jan 02, 2016
is it ok? NEW
by: Anonymous

same thing happens, but I get this feeling when you're really nervous to the point where you feel like crying, but I get that feeling during the day. I have trouble sleeping with or without phone, I see things but I can't tell what they are and that's the reason I can't sleep, besides that I get really bad nightmares
I don't know what to do

Jan 14, 2016
Sleep NEW
by: Hanna

Obviously if you're going to constantly think abut sleeping, then the most obvious result is you not being able to sleep. I know someone and he's afraid to sleep as-well but only because he's afraid he'll never wake up. I think he associates sleeping with death. What I suggest to you is that you should think the complete opposite of what you think about sleep and trust me you're fear will go away naturally. There is nothing wrong with you, it's all got to do with psychology. Your mind is playing around with you and you're listening to your mind. Advise; Don't! I'm 100 percent sure on this as well because I'm studying psychology. The best of luck !

Jan 27, 2016
Why can't I sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I used to sleep like a baby, but over the past year or so I dread crawling into bed some nights. I lie awake until 2-3 am and even later, before I finally fall asleep - to get up at 7. I can't understand why I can't sleep. I joke with my wife that I'm too tired to sleep! It just doesn't make sense. I think it's related to stress - but I have an easy job at a college. I take Gravol to knock me out, but try not to use it too often. Nothing I've seen online has given me (or others) the right answer.

Feb 02, 2016
Am I punishing myself NEW
by: Anonymous

My mind has been in a constant fight or flight mode for quit a while now.
Sometimes I'm so exhausted I will literally fight it until I am wide awake.
Results at times are my sleeping for at least a day.
They want to put me on xyrem but I'm tired of synthetic medication. I do of course take my stimulants but not the downers.
Honestly at this point I will take advice.
My way is literally trying to kill me.


Mar 13, 2016
I have the same problem NEW
by: Anonymous

Recently I have had trouble sleeping to. It's really hard for me but I suggest a fan or a music device in your room so it is not totally silent. This helped for me because when it was totally silent my mind wandered off and I got totally freaked out and terrified. Other than that I'm a mess;). But I do suggest a fan or a musical device.

Mar 13, 2016
Sounds familiar NEW
by: Anonymous

It felt like you were talking about me except that am a postgrad.I use to struggle to sleep and would sometimes use sleep meds just to sleep at night. But for months now, instead of trying to sleep, I fight it. I feel really tired but instead of trying to sleep, I keep doing things to make me active. Even when I force myself to lie down, I would be awake for hours so i just get up and find something else to do. Am not scared of anything. I just don't want to sleep. On my best days, I manage to fall sleep around 3. Mostly past 4am. Sometimes, not at all. It's affecting me and my studies badly. I wake up very late and tired. Very tired. I looked it up and there's a name to it. Hypnophobia. But I didn't see any particular cure/treatment for it. It's crazy. I mean it's past 3am and am typing this instead of sleeping. Hearing your flatmates snore when you are having a hard time sleeping isnt fun either.

Mar 17, 2016
Help NEW
by: Anonymous

I recently had a sleep study for apnea that resulted in a extremely bad panic attack due to the mask being too much of a intrusion. I never finished the study cause of it. So I went home and waited to calm down before rescheduling it. After few days I felt I was over it and decided on a reschedule. But soon after the call to reschedule I started having the panic attacks again and found having to "go to sleep" to be impossible. I cancelled the spot all together and for 2 weeks was back to feeling normal but since the recent hour change (spring forward) I'm finding it difficult to not feel a sense of dread when having to go to sleep I end up staying up later than I need to cause its bad enough that the apnea is not allowing proper recover but now sleep period is an issue. And like u all I have no clue where it stems from, or atleast something to pinpoint possible causes like childhood fears or whatever I can remember. Am very tired wanna enjoy sleep

Mar 24, 2016
Please Help NEW
by: Anonymous

So I made a stupid decision and watched a scary movie alone at night. Now I am scared to sleep. I walk into my parents room and have to sleep on their floor because it is so bad. I have to get up for school at 6 every morning and I go to bed at like 4:30. It's a horrible feeling. I've tried everything. I watch calming YouTube videos, I read books, I watch TV, but nothing seems to work. Can someone please help?

May 31, 2016
sared to sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

My problem has lasted for months im scared to fall asleep i would just stay up but i also am afraid if i stay up i might die or see things or not be able to fall back to sleep i pray that i would not have these problems some one please comment and tell me if you have the same problems and how long you have stayed awake thanks...

Jun 11, 2016
i cant sleep NEW
by: 11532πŸ˜‚

I've been have the same problem and it's like I can't sleep for 2 nights then 1 night I sleep fine I don't know why but I just can't sleep

Jun 28, 2016
Terrified of sleeping. NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 17, just finished secondary school and I have anxiety, it makes me fret over a lot of things, obseviley worry about one thing, for a while it was bad karma, then it was spiders and now it's sleeping. I'm beyond scared to sleep, the idea of going off into this whole other world of dreams and not knowing it is terrifying for me, I also have to stick to a very specific routine to avoid sleep paralysis. I like to stay up late, like until 4 or 5 in the morning, but when I do I find I get terrible headaches and start vomiting. I really don't know what to do, I try to avoid sleeping or trick myself into sleeping but thinking of doing that is horrific for me, I can't bear it.

Jul 01, 2016
im scared to sleep?? NEW
by: Anonymous

im 13 yrs old and just recently ive had sleeping problems. i researched a lot of stuff about it like isomnia and everytime i lay in bed and start to close my eyes i get really scared and i try to think of why and idek why! i also found rls and i move my legs alot so that may contribute to my lack of sleep? i havent slept in 2 days.. its 3am rn and i have nothing better to do cuz i cant sleep.

Jul 02, 2016
I have the same problem NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm fourteen and I have the same problem. Most nights I'm fine but some nights I'm terrified and really anxious, I don't know what I'm scared of I just am..Its so bad that even if I just hear my cat make a noise in the kitchen I will almost have a panic attack.. :/

Jul 06, 2016
I'm 14 and i have the same problem. NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm fourteen and I've had the same problem since I was a kid. I've also realized that most of the people in the comments are around my age. Maybe this fear of sleep will eventually go away as we grow, but for me it has been getting worse. I'm not scared of having nightmares, the dark, or anything like that. I'm scared because of the fact that one moment I'm awake and then the next I'm basically in a temporary coma. I hate how I no longer have control of myself for the few hours I'm asleep at night. I have found a few methods that have helped me sleep. I currently sleep with my tv on, which allows me to focus on listening to that instead. I also tend to sleep with my dog, which let's me know that I'm not alone. If you don't have a tv, try listening to some soft and calming music. I wouldn't recommend taking medicine or trying to fight sleep, because you need it. I hope this helps, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one with this problem.

Jul 14, 2016
same NEW
by: Anonymous

I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. I was very sick last week and slept a lot and ever since I got over it I've been scared to sleep. I find if I sleep with someone it helps but I rather sleep on my own I'm just too afraid to and I am not sure why. if you find some thing that helps please tell me because i'm scared

Aug 14, 2016
Scared NEW
by: Anonymous

So my brother, mom, and I sat down and watched alien footage. I still can't believe it so now but I'm having panic attacks an I can't sleep. I think that someone/something is just gonna watch me sleep than kidnap Mr and killed me. My brother suggested to occupy myself. I've tried but I can't. I keep hearing voices an I'm starting to think I'm going insane. Please help me

Aug 19, 2016
One Solution to Your Fear NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have a fear of sleeping! I've been reading these comments and realized most of the comments aren't solutions. So I'm going to write something that has worked for me and hopefully other people too.

What I do is alone, I light a candle. Then I write all the things I'm stressed, scared, or mad/sad about on a sheet of paper. For a little bit I look at everything I wrote. After I fold the paper like a letter and seal it with the wax from the candle. In doing this I am able to let go of the things I wrote. You can do this anyway you want, it's your choice. You can burn the letter if you what ever work for you. I hope this helped!

Aug 19, 2016
So exhausted but making myself stay awake NEW
by: Anonymous

I too don't go to sleep till after 5 am often. I am afraid to lay my head down and drift to sleep even tho I used to sleep like a babyanytime. Now I make myself stay awake till im totally drained so that when I lie down I just pass out and go to sleep. I eat super healthy stuff rarely have caffeine. I'm so tired right now. And although I had a trauma over a year ago I'm not specifically scared of anything. More like I'm scared of myself and my own thoughts? I really don't get it or know what to do.

Sep 04, 2016
Im only 12 NEW
by: Little girl

Well i have had time trying to sleep and i don't want my parents to find out i fall asleep when they go to bed at 2am. I don't now why but i an to scared to look at my window at night or look at anything around my room and the times i fell fine i will think again and close my eyes until morning so i can get up and pretend i was asleep the whole night but really i was under my blanket having the most horrible thoughts e.g. my mum and dad are downstairs and think im asleep but all i think of is rope briges and my falling off or my dad looking down a big cliff and he falls of and people tell me to move on but all i can think of is him so now i realise i have a family altogether looking out for me and they wont be so seeing all the time but i still cant sleep at night and probably never will πŸ˜₯ 12:16am i am writing at

Sep 08, 2016
Can never sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I am afraid to go to sleep, don't really know why. I take medication and drink wine to get to sleep every night and I still stay awake till 3 or 4 am then wake up early. It is ruining my life!!

Sep 10, 2016
Sleep Paralysis NEW
by: Anonymous

I cannot sleep. Recently every time I sleep I go through sleep paralysis. It's so scary and downright annoying. Even though I know it isn't real, it's just so scary. Seeing things coming into my room while I can't move at all. It's keeping me awake. I'm afraid to tell my parents of this. I am an eleven year old girl and I just don't know what the hell I should do. Part of me wants to put in my headphones and sleep face down (that prevents sleep paralysis) but the rest of me knows that I always move around in my sleep, and I've had sleep paralysis while sleeping on my side. I hate this.

Jan 30, 2017
I'm terrified NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 14 years old and have been terrified of sleeping my whole life, I recently lost my cat and the fear has gotten worse. I have a exam tomorrow and have to get up at 5 am to get ready and catch my buss. This fear is ruining my life and is being reflected in my test scores at school. I feel as if I'm being watched and that something or someone is going to kill me in my sleep. Please if you have any advice I would appreciate it.

Feb 15, 2017
Can't sleep. NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 13 and I looked up I can't sleep because im scared because well...I'm scared and can't sleep,any advice would be appreciated. It's just before midnight right now so if I can go to sleep now I might be able to get up in the morning and not be to tired (i hope)

Feb 16, 2017
by: Anonymous

SEE I AM STILL A 8 GRADER BUT I STILL HAVE PROBLEM IN SLEEPING .. I've been experiencing fear of going to sleep. I don't exactly know how to pinpoint it. I'm not prone to nightmares, and I don't have fears about particular things--I'm not afraid, for example, that someone's going to break into my dorm and mug me.
But right about the time that I start thinking I should go to bed--late already, as I said, due to I start to get antsy. My heart starts racing, and it's hard to bring myself to get ready for bed. And if I can get ready for bed.

Feb 18, 2017
Fear NEW
by: Anonymous

I've been reading a lot of these and I can relate to some of these. I've noticed a lot of the commenters are my age, somewhere around 14 or 15. I turn 16 in 3 days and I'm getting back into a period in my anxiety where I'm just irrationally afraid of falling asleep. Before I had my anxiety, when I was like 8 or 9, I used to get really afraid of falling asleep and I would have my mom just sit by me until I did. The fear went away for like 3 years, it came back around two years ago, and now it came back like 3 days ago. I have no idea why this is such a big thing for me, but the reason why it really urks me is because one second I'm awake, and the next I'm asleep. That scares the hell out of me, the instant snap.

Mar 16, 2017
Scared of falling asleep too - advice NEW
by: Anonymous

When I was in 7th grade I became very afraid of falling asleep and I know why. I was over thinking it too much and it made me scared. I'm in 9th grade now and it's starting to happen more. I sleep fine when someone else is in the room or if say I hear a tv on in the background, but if I'm on my own in my room, it usually occurs. Something I've been doing is listening to music with earbuds or listening to youtube videos in the background. It distracts my mind from the thought of falling asleep and as a resault helps a lot. Also, maybe sleep with a night light even if you aren't scared of the dark, it has helped me fall asleep

Mar 16, 2017
Trouble sleeping NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 14 and have trouble sleeping. It's not fear of having nightmares or someone breaking in. It's just the fear of falling asleep itself. I have bad anxiety and I think the problem is thinking about it to much. Any suggestions?

Apr 05, 2017
Can't sleep. NEW
by: Anonymous

Not scared, not afraid just can't sleep. If I do sometimes its 20 mins sometimes 1 or 2 hours then up for another 18 hours. Over and over day to day for about 9 months. Exhausted. No idea why this came about.

Apr 12, 2017
I am scared too! Please help NEW
by: Anonymous

So whenever it is time for me to go to sleep I always get scared that I am going to be attacked or something. I have never found a solution and I am 11 years old.i can't sleep and to prove it I am writing this at 3:30 a.m
So please give me advise I really need some sleep. I even can't sleep sometimes I go to my dad's bed to sleep with him. And I'm eleven so that's sad, but I can't sleep so I really need help!

May 16, 2017
Suggestions for Sleep Fear and DPSD NEW
by: Ally

I have both of those same problems, so I sympathize enormously. I was the victim of a home invasion, so no mysteries on why it occurs. I have had delayed phase sleep disorder since childhood and I'm 50 now, so I can promise you that I've tried a lot of remedies over the years!

For the DPSD I take 3 mg. delayed release melatonin at 10pm at night (which is when your body should naturally make melatonin), plus 1000 mg. Holy Basil (2 capsules) from Now Foods. This is because my cortisol levels, which should be high in the morning and low in the evening, are reversed. This is common for DPSD patients; you won't be able to sleep if your cortisol levels are too high at night and the only way to test for this is a 24-hour cortisol saliva test. Even with this regimen I am up until 1 or 2 am. Normally I would be awake until 4 or 5 am. Every other month I stay awake for 24 hours continuously in order to reset my sleep. I also use a small light box for 45 minute as soon as I get up.

For the fear of the dark I have used a strip of Hue lighting under the base of my bathroom sink cabinet and use a timer to turn it on and off. It goes on at 1am and off at 7am. I can see the light from my bedroom and if I have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night I don't need to fragment my sleep further by turning on a light. I also use a type a sleep earphones called Cozyphones (available on Amazon) to listen to audiobooks on my cell phone. I listen to an Audible book which allows you to put the book on a timer - so I can ask it to turn itself off after 30 or 60 minutes, or at the end of the chapter. There's something really soothing about someone reading you to sleep. The best thing is that it takes your mind off of trying to go to sleep and absorbs you in the plot line of the story.

Aug 27, 2017
zep NEW
by: Anonymous

I am xvet and found that working a third shift job in my early 20s helped, but now I'm in my early 40s and find that alcohol really helps. Good luck to you

Oct 07, 2017
I feel your pain NEW
by: Anonymous

Dude I feel your pain but I’m only 11 years old

Nov 02, 2017
Same problem NEW
by: Ankur

I'm in a same situation, when i wake up midnight icannot sleep again so i start listening soft music and trying to sleep... But one thing i analysis when whole day im actually happy and calm and nothing do wrong things.. I sleep well

Nov 06, 2017
Fear of sleeping NEW
by: Aloque

I feel like I am gonna get a heart attack if I sleep, and it's getting worse day by day

Dec 03, 2017
sleep paralysis NEW
by: Anonymous

i've had sleep paralysis twice in the last 2 weeks and i've been really scared to go to sleep because i just dread that feeling like someone is just standing over me watching me. Yesterday was the last time i had it and now its 5 am and ive got all the lights on in my basement

Dec 13, 2017
I feel the same NEW
by: Anonymous

Can I just say reading this in no way makes me happy but makes me feel better because I'm not alone. I've felt weird these issues for a long time myself and it tends to be when I'm alone. I love god and pray also, but I'm also aware I am my own worst enemy. It has gotten a little better for, which myy heart goes out for the 5 amers, but that still tends to be when I sleep the best is from 4 to 10. I hope we all figure this out and because it sucks. Always willing to take any suggestions so okease anyone out there keep posting. Thank you.

Dec 16, 2017
I feel like something is coming for me NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm writing this at 3am.... Today I go to my bed at 1 am as I was waiting for my a boyfrnd's call til that time.... After talking to him I came to my bed..i sleep with my grandma as usual I turned off the light and take my blanket to cover my whole body as I can't sleep by leaving a single portion of my body uncovered... I am soon scared of ghosts and I feel that something will come and catch me if i leave even my legs uncovered...... After doing all my preparations I turned off light and close my eyes to sleep.... But I can't.. I feels that I m insecure and something coming for me From the other room or from somewhere.... This thought haunts my mind till this time.... And thus I can't sleep.... Now it's sharp 3.48 ... And I dnt know why to do after w egg icing this comment...................... 😰😰😰

Jan 22, 2018
Same NEW
by: Anonymous

I have been up at night upset and I tell my mum but she just says "go do something to keep yourself occupied" or " there is nothing to worry about" and it feels like she is ignoring my emotions

Mar 02, 2018
scared NEW
by: Anonymous

my issue is I fall asleep then in my head I hear loud pounding in my brain my head sometimes its hard for me to wake myself up,IM up but I cant get up like im fighting to get up and when I DO im so scared to sleep and I turn my hall light on cause im so scared I stay up for hours im exhausted

May 21, 2018
It just started NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 15 and I have had periods of my childhood when I had very severe night panics and I was afraid of the dark. However, I haven't had them in years and I'm not afraid of the dark. This weird sttess when I try to go to sleep started a few days ago and it only got worst. I seem to be scared of the dark (kinda). I don't know why this started either... Maybe I read too many webtoons? Anyway this is hell for me. Plz help.

Jun 24, 2018
im afraid of clowns coming NEW
by: Anonymous

im and im scared of clowns ghosts demons and monsters or anything scary to go in my bedroom i hear certain sounds every night and no time else then i get out of bed and search once i saw a doll that was on a barbie house then dissapeared

Sep 12, 2018
Long term sleep issues NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm in my mid 50's. I've had trouble sleeping for most of my adult life, but I've been able to mostly manage it.

About 10 years ago I got severe anxiety and depression (lasted about 3 months). Started taking sleep medication, but I was generally able to manage my sleep.

Over the last year, my fear of sleep has come back with a vengeance. I can't sleep without some sort of medication. I take anti anxiety pills with prescription sleep medication. That helps a lot, but I'm scared to sleep. I don't sleep with my wife these days (she snores and keeps me awake, she also goes to sleep late, late at night).

Most people would consider me very successful in my career, and they would be surprised at my sleep and anxiety issues.

This is one of my challenges in life, so I try to take it one day at a time.

Sep 25, 2018
Why does this happen to me? NEW
by: Anonymous

It all started when I first started getting bullied at school and my therapist diagnosed me with anxiety. Ever since I've had this fear of sleeping, over the years it's changed, for example I used to be afraid of dying then it went over to the fear of having sleep paralysis but now my current issue is nightmares.

I'm very religious and I do pray but I can't shake the feeling that I'm going to wake up screaming from a scary dream. It's now 12 am and I'm crying while typing this because it is hell.

I have to get up at six and I have a full day of classes tomorrow because I'm a high school student. All my other friends sleep like babies and I feel like an outsider.

Apr 04, 2019
by: jojn

I'm 66 and up until 3 months ago I slept well.
Then one night I had just gone to bed ( I sleep alone) I heard a women's voice clearly say "hello"as if she was. Evidence me.
I thought nothing it and fell asleep.the next night
I heard A satanic like voice say" RING" very loud.
Since then I've been on the couch afraid to and fetuses to go back in that doctors got me on sleeping pills. I sleep with 3 lights on. I pur a recorder in the room and heard a lot on moving What's an old man to do?
Please help!

Aug 02, 2019
God help me let me survive tonight NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm usually on my tablet until late at night watching YouTube. I haven't watched anything
Scary in a year but I'm still scared to sleep. I'll get off my tablet to try to sleep and then get such an awful feeling like somethings there and I'm about to die. It's so bad the only thing that makes me feel better is getting back on my tablet but it has 5% and I'm too scared to grab the charger. I become paralyzed and I start crying. I'm only 12 and I haven't told my family yet but I think I will in the morning because I can't do this anymore God help me I'm so terrified.

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About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

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The Stanford Sleep Book

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Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

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