Oct 27 2012

Do You Have of Fear of Sleep? Here are Some Reasons and Strategies to Deal With It – Vol. 172, Oct. 26, 2012

"The sleep of Reason creates monsters&quo... “The sleep of Reason creates monsters”, etching and aquatint by Francisco Goya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many reasons why a person may have a fear of sleep according to the article “Scared to Sleep” by Winnie Yu published in WebMD. According to Mathew Edlund, MD, director of the Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota, Fla, and the author of The Power of Sleep, sleep dread is very common. It is really a form of performance anxiety according to Alexander Obolsky, MD who as a psychiatrist specializes in trauma and stress.

For older individuals the fear not getting enough sleep causes them a lack of sleep.

Insomnia which affects about 40% of Americans is the most common form of this fear. When people worry that they can’t sleep, they find they can’t sleep.

Chronic nightmares is another fear based sleep disorder which is often experienced by adults who experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Of course children can also fear sleep if they experience nightmares. I would suggest you see a hypnotist to help clear this fear allowing for a good nights sleep.

Another cause of nightmares could be medications ingested. I had a gentleman call just yesterday. His doctor prescribed Chantix to him to help him stop smoking. He told me of two horrific nightmares he experienced while being on the medication. I have heard similar stories from others who have tried that particular medication.

Medication can also keep people awake if they are stimulants to your system. Double check with your pharmacist to find out exactly how your medications may be hindering your sleep either taken alone or in combination with other medications and/or supplements. Pharmacists are the specialist when it comes to understanding the chemistry involved in the medications and supplements you are taking so use their knowledge to help you out here. They are much better informed than your doctors ever could be given the ever growing number of choices out there and their information is free for the asking.

For those who suffer with sleep apnea they may fear stopping breathing during their sleep. A CPAP machine is the best way to handle this particular problem once diagnosed by a sleep clinic test.

I worked with an anesthesiologist who ironically had difficulty sleeping. During our work together we found out that he developed this problem after being awakened repeatedly while he was on call during his multiple residencies.

Having an old worn out mattress can also cause great problems creating back pains and pressure points of pain. Investing in a new mattress will take care of this problem.

Keeping a good routine before going to bed each night is a great way to let your body know it is time for sleep. I like to have a nice warm bath to relax. Once in bed the first thing I do is turn off my cell phones. I find that taking late night calls gets me into an excited state that hampers my getting to sleep. Next I read for a while, usually for an hour or so. Lastly I will listen to a hypnosis CD allowing my unconscious mind to work on any areas that I am working to improve in my life.

Whatever you choose to do it is always a good to:

1) Go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time.
2) Don’t eat or drink any caffeine for at least 4 hours before bed.
3) Don’t drink any alcohol for 3 hours before going to sleep because it lessons the depth of your sleep.
4) Take a warm bath or shower will help to relax you.
5) Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
6) Limit your bedroom activities to sleep and sex.
7) Reading right before going to sleep is a good way to relax before falling off to sleep.
8) Deep breathing, meditation or self-hypnosis are all a good help to fall into a good quality of sleep.

If you have an issue with getting enough sleep and you are not sure why, it is always a great idea to have a sleep specialist check to make sure you don’t have a physiological problem such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. My client the doctor, had all the testing done before coming in to figure out what the unconscious issue was that was keeping him awake.

There are few things that are better than a good night’s rest. Remember your body needs the sleep to keep you healthy. With that in mind, it is worth it to do whatever you need to take care of this problem.

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