Somniphobia is the abnormal and irrational fear of sleep. If you are worried about falling asleep and this concern is not based on any rational or obvious reasoning then you may be suffering from somniphobia. Somniphobia, also known as hynophobia, often stems from a deep psychological problem and is often accompanied by the belief that falling asleep constitutes a loss of control. Many suffers will have powerful, repeating nightmares which haunt them every night.
There are also a number of physical and psychological symptoms that accompany somniphobia, including rapid breathing, confusion, shortness of breath, sweating, terror, panic, dread, sleepiness, a dry mouth, trembling, drowsiness, nausea and an irregular heartbeat. However, not all sufferers will experience all or even most of these. The overriding constant for somniphobia is the irrational fear of sleep.
While some short term treatment may rely on drugs to help the person sleep, in the long term somniphobia requires counselling and therapy. The only way to really cure it is by finding out what is causing it and trying to remedy this fundamental cause.
One common way of at least alleviating some of the fear is for the sufferer to sleep with someone they are comfortable around. This way they can relax to a degree and give in to their drowsiness.
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