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Sleeping Problems and Fear of Sleep
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Sleeping Problems and Fear of Sleep

I am 14 and recently I have developed a fear of sleep. Does anyone know the cause, have any suggestions, or a similar problem?

About three years ago I would stay up late during the summer, and due to childish fears of being the last one awake I would force myself to stay awake all night. The next day would I would be exhausted and moody and the day would be all together unpleasant. Then when night would come, I would get nervous, probably fearing I would not fall asleep again. I would fall asleep, fairly easily because I was so tiered. I would wake up feeling refreshed and sleep wouldn't be a problem anymore.
Over the years sometimes the problem would arrive and I would spend a day grumpy or tiered but eventually I would fall asleep, wake up, feel better, and then go back to normal.

But lately that hasn't been the case. Due to a horrible memory I'm not quite sure when it started, at least three weeks ago, it was horrible trying to get myself to sleep. I would toss and turn for hours in a delirious and foggy state of mind. Eventually I would get up, splash water on my face, do anything to not fall asleep. Eventually I do fall asleep at about 1:00am, usually not in my own bed and wake up several times. When I do have to wake up (at about 6:00am for school) I feel awful and sore all over. Then I spend the entire day fretting, worrying and crying over the fear I will not fall asleep again and spend the night similarly. Sometimes the nights get really bad and I will spend hours crying and hating myself for doing this to myself. I thoroughly annoy my mother by waking her up to cry to her about it

An even more recent problem is feeling tiered and apathetic throughout the day. I feel disengaged from people. I can talk to them normally but I still feel oddly distant. Even when laughing or smiling I still feel like there is a weight pressing on my mind and often on the verge of tears.

I have gotten better at getting myself to sleep by grounding myself to my bed. Telling myself I will not leave it even though my body makes up complaints like boredom sudden desire to go running, urge to go to the bathroom, and most often thirst. I keep water by my bed and drink enough water throughout the day. I drink a full glass before bed and go to the bathroom as well, so I don't think these are actually legitimate needs and just my body trying to deprive myself of rest.

I constantly wake up during the night too. This is very irritating because as far as I know you can't force yourself to stay asleep. When I do wake up I am very uncomfortable as well. Sometimes I get up to take Ibuprofen for muscle aches (I was prescribed this recently at hospital visit after I got into a car accident which is another cause of my sore muscles.) Sleep seems to do nothing for healing my body, as I usually feel stiffer than ever when I wake up. I think it's because I sleep on my stomach with my head to the side (the worst possible position.) Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night all the blood has been lost from a hand, arm or foot. I need to massage blood back into it before I fall asleep again.

My family thinks the reason for my problem is a lack of exercise as I spend a lot of time indoors and on the computer. But sometimes I also have trouble sleeping after a day of running about. Also, the issue isn't that I don't feel tiered when I try to sleep because both my body and brain are exhausted. Sometimes I fear being tiered though because then my thoughts get more frantic and incoherent.

Sorry this is so lengthy, but I had a lot to say about it. I have been thinking about this issue for awhile now and had a lot to say about it. If you have any input I would love to hear it. Thank you C:
Oh, also any additional information if needed:
I am female
I am a vegetarian (Tests have shown I don't suffer from any lacks of protein or iron though)
I don't really have any medical issues or allergies (except to mushrooms)
2 Comments Post a Comment
Avatar dr f tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

You should not keep thinking about sleeplessness, as this in turn promotes insomnia and it becomes a vicious cycle.

You should stop becoming anxious and try to relax. Try to have a warm bath before sleeping. Have a glass of milk or read a book before trying to sleep. Don’t watch TV or do exercise before sleeping. Condition yourself that you can relax and that you can sleep well.

Try yoga and meditation they have calming effects. Go for long stress free walks. Also, do exercise in the daytime this promotes good sleep. Avoid daytime naps.

If your symptoms persist, consult your doctor, he may give you sedatives to temporarily tide over the insomnia.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
Avatar f tn
Sleep is vital and is nothing to be afraid of. Try and set up a sleep routine, personally, I allow myself a couple of hours to wind down before I go to sleep, I avoid drinking caffeine and eating heavy meals. Having a routine will discipline your body and brain into knowing when it is going to sleep. Also make sure that you have a comfortable sleeping environment, a good mattress is an absolute must! All these things help me so maybe they could help you as well!
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