afraid of sleep, any suggestions?: a real terror of... - Headway


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afraid of sleep, any suggestions?


a real terror of sleep has developed since my injury. it is having a massive, negative impact on my life. I am running on empty. any mention of sleeping meds has me running scared, it's the thought of sleep and even the sensation of drowsiness that I find terrifying. any words would be helpful. x

15 Replies

Ooh that’s got to be hard, if you’re anything like me I spend my life feeling exhausted and quite often drowsy!

I don’t suppose there is a reason you feel this way? Just is I guess? Only thing that comes to mind is seeing a neuropsychologist? But to be honest I’m exhausted so the little grey cells aren’t really working!

I live on my own and when bad things happened I wasn't able to get help. during the day we can usually get someone, but when night falls it scares me so much that I can't settle. I have severe tinnitus and it's 24/7, I get scared that I won't hear an intruder and sometimes noises in my ears make me think that there is activity downstairs. I do that thing when I'm trying to go to sleep when it feels like falling and then a big jolt. the whole going to bed and going to sleep thing fills me with dread even though I'm exhausted.

Would you qualify for one of the home help bracelets?

Do you sleep better if others are around? Not sure but clearly this is going to make life hard, I’m not sure what, but it feels like you need support.

I have developed a strange relationship with sleep never sleeping for more than 2 hrs at a time seem happier to sleep in the day as so tired all the time but when settling for sleep at night I cant settle. At the moment it is 6 am and not shut my eyes once yet and this is now becoming a nightly thing I seem frightened to sleep at night for some inexplicable reason so i too would like to hear if anyone else suffers sleep issues and why and any handy hints to address the problem. I do meditate and even have my tablet with meditative music or guided stuff on my pillow to try and get me to sleep.

deborah27 in reply to Kathykathy

I think it's because it's easier to reach someone during the day if we are in crisis or need someone. it's quiet too, the world slows down and night has often negative associations in fiction, film, crime stories, the supernatural etc... it feels like it's a time when bad things are more likely to happen.


Hi Deborah your post is interesting. I don't feel terror about going to sleep however I do sometimes have what I describe a foreboding feeling when I'm asleep that something bad is going to happen. Sometimes it can be about specific things and sometimes about nothing at all.

The foreboding feeling usually goes hand in hand with when I have fatigue which usually starts with a pressure in my head and feels like I'm wearing an iron mask and then i get very tired.

I can usually rationalise that I only have the foreboding feeling when I have fatigue and that it will pass. When I get it when I'm asleep it's like being in a bad dream I can't wake up from and I when I do eventually wake I feel very unrested.

I don't know if what I've described has helped at all but anyhow that's what happens to me.

Have you tried meditation at all or talking to your GP? I'm currently seeking treatment to hopefully reduce the fatigue and therefore associated effects that go with it.

Regards Rachel

deborah27 in reply to Hidden

thanks Rachel, I agree that fears are worse when we are exhausted. so when going to bed and going to sleep are the very things we fear, then it feels like an impossible situation and a very vicious circle!

Have you thought of trying hypnotherapy to deal with the phobia?

I didn't have a phobia about sleeping but since my ABI, my sleep cycle my nightly sleep was only 2-3 hours and that would be very broken sleep because I would be waking between 5-7 times each night during those 2-3 hours. From 3 a.m I would be completely awake having only dozed off after mid night, I also didn't go into the good restorative sleep but slept very lightly and would wake at the slightest sound etc. This continued over the next 4 years and I was very cognitively exhausted and very sleep deprived, which didn't help my emotional control problems at all and I was frequently crying over everything and nothing throughout every day! I was prescribed sleeping tablets but only to take 1-2 times a week but I mostly didn't take them. About 6 months ago I was reminded of Circadin which is the natural hormone melatonin which we produced in our brain at night which is responsible for our sleep. I asked my GP if I could try Circadin, which is the slow release melatonin, to see if it would help me and she was happy to prescribe them. They are not a sedative but are the hormone that our brain should naturally be producing and for me they have made a significant improvement! I still get nights when I am stressing or overwhelmed with day time things and I don't sleep but that is how it is for everyone anyway even without a bi. I take Circadin 4 mgs (two tablets) at night, and mostly after an hour or so of taking it drift off to sleep. I now sleep well enough so that my daytime sleep deprivation is improved and I avoid regular daytime naps where I just couldn't keep myself awake but knew that a daytime sleep would result in entire nights awake. Maybe worth asking your GP to try??

thankyou so much for your reply. yes this is worth mentioning to doc. I'm not a fan of sleeping tablets, but this isn't and is about working with our body's natural balance.x

Zopiclone was given to me by my GP . I take it 4 times a week and get 4 nights sleep . The other 3 are hard . My rupture knocked out my slee mechanism x

The first questiom would be why you find it so terrifying to sleep

deborah27 in reply to spideyman

when bad things happened and I couldn't get help, it was at night. I am on my own and feel afraid when night falls.

The first question is why you find it so terrifying to go to sleep?

deborah27 in reply to spideyman

should this not have been the 2nd question? lol.

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