Question: My fear of getting to sleep is taking over my life and I'm only 14! Please help me!?
Well I've never been able to get to sleep easily. Its always took my an hour atleast of lying there trying to clear my mind and drift off, and most of the time it's much more. And also, like many children, when sleeping out it came for the games to end and go to sleep Id start freaking out as my friends would be asleep in minutes and I'd be on my own lying there. Then I would be nervous and start feeling ill and ask to go home.
I am 14 now and over the last year or so this had gradually escalated.
The last sleepover I was invited to (which was just after xmas as I avoid them now) I burst into tears and felt ill and was really scared. Luckily I was wat my really close friends house so she and her mum was really supportive and helped me get through the night. I did it but I panicked so much and was obviously really embarassed.
I want this to stop as I'm a teen and part of teen life is to go out to sleepovers and have slumber parties yet I freak out about getting to sleep so much that I've missed out on so much as I refuse to put myself through that stress and panick.
Yet theres another problem.
In the last couple of months this has begun at home. All day all I can think about is will I be able to get to sleep tonight? What if I get ill because I can't get to sleep and I'm ill all night alone and I just can't sleep. It really scares me.
I now refuse to go to bed if I havent eaten in the last hour incase I feel sick from hunger and can't sleep, whitout a hot water bottle incase I get a bad belly and can't sleep and a sick bowl nearby incase I feel sick and can't get to sleep.
I would love to go to bed and just read a book or watch a movie yet I'm so panicky about if I can get to sleep ornot that I just try to get it over and done with yet I still find myself lying there an hour later still awake.
Don't tell me to just relax and don't think about it, I've tried it and it doesn't work because I just can't do it. I'm quite a hyped up optimistic person that always find something exciting out of anything so I can never really totally relax without opening my eyes now and then or something.
Esspecially this last week I've tried relaxing myself and that and I was getting a little better yet the other night I was awoken at 1 with pains in my belly and I was up for over and hour ill trying to get to sleep and its freaked me out again.
So I did some research and found somniphobia (hypnophobia) and I can relate entirely to people that suffer from it, yet I am not sure whether I have this as some say its a fear of sleep which I dont have, I have a fear of that space of time of trying to get to sleep. I actually like sleep as my dreams are so exciting and vivid even though if I did have a choice I would avoid sleep altogether.
I also looked at the side effects of somnophobia and I have them all (apart from irregular heartbeat as I am not sure how to check that myself).
So Please, I am begging you, help me. It's effecting my whole life. I've read things of people that have suffered this for 40 years and I don't want that to happen! Is this somniphobia and if not what is it? How do I stop it? Should I seek someone perfessional to speak to?
thankyou for any answers! much appreciated. x
Oh my god I seriously have the same exact issue as you. I'm waiting for an answer.... :)
This sounds more like a fear of being different that you developed as a little kid when all the other kids went to sleep. When you can't get to sleep fast enough, you start worrying and stressing out. This of course makes it harder to go to sleep so the problem just gets worse. This problem carried on until you are where you are right now, where you're having an even worse flare up of it. It defiantly sounds like a psychological problem that you developed as a kid in your kindergarten class, but I warn you, I'm not psychiatrist.
It doesn't sound like you have a fear of sleep, but more like you have insomnia. If you actually had a fear of sleep, you would get scared and panic every time you lied down. With insomnia, you just can't sleep.
But how much sleep DO you get? Some people are actually born without needing as much sleep as the average person (like 4 hours a night). If you don't get very much sleep, do you feel tired? Do you suffer from any other effects, like not being able to focus much?
Either way, you should seek the help of a professional. Ask your parents if they can take you to a doctor to have you checked out, because this isn't normal.
I thin kyou have suffered enough and its time to get some proper help. If you were capable of controlling this yourself, youwould have found a way by now. Have a serious chat with your mum and and ask for your parents help.
There aer many natural things that could help you:
1. Some sessions with a hypnotherapist. He will put you into a calm relaxed state, fully conscious and aware, but open to suggestion. In this state he will suggest to your sub-conscious mind that it is easy and effortless to fall quickly in to a deep and refreshing sleep. Over a series of sessions your mind will believe this to be true, and will make it a reality. Hypnotherapy is very powerful.
2. Go to a health store and get some Bach Flower Remedies. These are liquid drops made entirely from flower petals, 100% harmless, for different states of mind. You need vervain (for enthusiastic people who cannot switch off at night) white chestnut (circulating, endless thoughts at night) and mimulus (for all the daytime fears about what might happen at night). take these regularly and you shudl see some results within a few weeks.
3. At the same health store you could pick up herbal teas, tinctures or tablets for aiding sleep - there are several such as hops,passiflora, vervain, chamomile. If possible get some tinctures as they get absorbed more easily and effectively into the bloodstream. The different herbs help with different aspects of sleep - check otu their different properties to get the right one for you. Or, you could have a consultation with a medical herbalist who may make up a mixture to help you.
4. You could pick up a self-help hypnotherapy CD to listen to each night with headphones on - these are very effeective too but it might be best ot see a hypnotherapist if your parents can afford it.
First of all, stop reading about different psychological conditions, it's extremely common for people to exhibit symptoms they read about, and that would make your situation even worse. You mentioned that you don't exactly fit the description of somniphobia, but these kinds of terms are usually generalizations, and you could very well fit within that diagnosis. Seek professional help. You have described a rapid progression that will only get worse. I suggest finding a licensed psychologist. They can try to help you, or may refer you to a specialist. Just CONTACT someone, they can tell you what to do next. In the mean time, try not to worry about getting to sleep, it doesn't matter. I usually take an hour or two to fall asleep, just let your mind wander until you do, there is no pressure, it doesn't matter. Eventually your body will take over and rest.
P.S. I wouldn't advise reading, it takes too much of a transition to fall asleep. Thinking and watching long movies are great, just lose yourself in the story.
You are still immature,leave the idea for the time being.
yes seek proffesional help!
Have you talked to your parents about this? If you were my daughter I would want to know if you were feeling so bad! I definitely think you should talk to them and your family doctor. Maybe a therapist could help too. What you're describing sounds awful! I hope it gets better for you.