Fear of Sleep (Hypnophobia): Causes, Symptoms, Elements, Treatment

The fear of sleeping is related to the fear of the unknown. Often the patient is terrified of what might happen if he falls asleep. One fears being “out of control.” Many are afraid of having nightmares or not being able to ‘hear’ loved ones calling them.

Most of us like to sleep and see it as a basic necessity for survival and eating, drinking, and breathing. Many tend to become irritable or irritable due to lack of sleep. However, some people in the world also suffer from anxiety-related sleep disorders, among which is a condition called hypnophobia.

The word homophobia is derived from the Latin Somnus, which means sleep, and Phobos, which means fear. Therefore, homophobia is the fear of sleeping or falling asleep. It is also called ‘hypnophobia,’ the fear of being hypnotized, a condition in which the person is forced into a dream-like state.


People who have homophobia must understand that this condition is associated with other fears that are very common in human beings. We can mention sleepwalking, the fear of nightmares, or dying while sleeping ( thanatophobia ).

  • Specialists say that sleepwalking is one of the leading causes.
  • Most sleepwalkers do something benign in this state, but they are so afraid of it happening in the first place that they are so scared to go to sleep.
  • Death is also known as the “great dream.” Somníphobes feel very vulnerable while they sleep and believe that death and sleep are eerily similar conditions that ultimately leave them out of control.
  • Some people tend to talk in their sleep.
  • Most of it is gibberish, but they fear revealing important things or being out of control over what they are saying.
  • Sleep paralysis is another cause of Somniphobia.
  • This is the state in which a person, upon waking up, experiences muscle paralysis.
  • This can happen multiple times, making them afraid to sleep.
  • People with existing anxiety disorders often have difficulty falling asleep.
  • When they do, your dream is more likely to be plagued with nightmares. They often wake up in the middle of the night and can’t even remember their nightmares.
  • It is difficult for them to go back to sleep.
  • Such nightmares and sleep panics turn into a vicious cycle – your sleep deprivation leads to even greater anxiety from fear of falling asleep.
  • Movies in the horror genre can sometimes trigger homophobia.
  • Some cultures also speak of witches and demons “sitting on top of their hapless sleeping victims.”
  • A negative or traumatic direct/indirect incidence, the death of a loved one, etc., can also trigger this phobia.

Symptoms of fear of sleep

Symptoms of fear of sleep

Panic and anxiety attacks are the most common symptoms of fear of sleep phobia. Such people may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue and drowsiness during the day.
  • Humor changes.
  • Inability to concentrate – hampered work productivity.
  • Tendency to get sick frequently, have low energy levels, etc.

Therefore, homophobia symptoms can lead to reduced memory, mental awareness, and loss of control. It can be a debilitating condition that severely affects the professional and personal life of the patient.

Other elements

  • Studies published by specialists that study this disease that affects people’s hours of rest assured that the fear of sleeping could be closely related to other conditions such as anxiety and depression that cause disorders at bedtime.
  • For many years the theory has been maintained that the nightmare can become a disturbing element so that people, children as adults, fear falling asleep and experiencing suffering again.
  • Different sleep disorders can also trigger phobia. People with insomnia, for example, may fear going to bed and staying awake; Sleepwalkers may be afraid of what they will do after falling asleep.
  • People with sleep apnea may even fear for their safety during sleep.
  • Then there are those whose anxiety may not be related to a sleep disorder. “People who hate work or school often delay going to bed until very late at night because they are trying to extend the happy part of their day,” Perlis suggested.
  • In short, the fear of sleep can be precipitated by other problems. And this has enormous implications for the way it is understood and managed.

Treatment to overcome fear

  • Many mental health forums are known to help people overcome their fear of sleep phobia.
  • These online and offline support groups allow people to share their experiences and contribute ideas or remedies that have helped them overcome sleep phobia.
  • Relaxing mantras and chanting “Om” before bed help you relax and fall asleep.
  • Meditation, yoga, and other mind-body techniques such as Tai Chi and qigong are potent remedies for overcoming sleepiness.
  • Many homophobic individuals have also found relief by practicing deep breathing.
  • Therapists also encourage phobics to write down their rational and irrational thoughts about sleep, allowing them to enjoy the physical relaxation that rest brings slowly.
  • Over time, one begins to enjoy the sleep process by practicing these techniques.


Another help is to develop an action plan for managing stress and anxiety. Even better is practicing good sleep hygiene techniques. Some quick tips are:

  • Try to set a fixed time to sleep and wake up during the week and weekend.
  • Avoid caffeine, cigarette smoking, and alcohol a couple of hours before sleeping. These substances can act as stimulants and make falling asleep much more difficult.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime ritual. Take a relaxing bath or shower, put on soothing, meditative music, or read a book.
  • If you are having trouble sleeping, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-555-66-88to schedule a consultation.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.