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Somniphobia- Fear of sleep

All of us have trouble sleeping from time to time. This is often caused by stress or concentrating too much on things you have planned for the next day. You might be excited about an event that will be taking place soon or you may be worried about something. When the fear is out of control it is referred to as Somniphobia .

Otherwise known as hypnophobia, somniphobia is an abnormal fear of sleep. It may result from a feeling of control loss or from repeating nightmares. The prefix Hypno comes from the Greek word HYPNOS which means sleep.

One potential cause of somniphobia can be seeing someone else who has a sleep terror, incident or other triggering event, such as on television or in person, thus making the somniphobic also afraid to sleep.

Somniphobia is typically thought to have numerous symptoms which affect the body. These symptoms can affect the patient both physically, and mentally. Basic symptoms of hypnophobia include rapid breathing, shortness of breath, confusion, sweating, feeling of panic, dread and terror, sleepiness, dry mouth, drowsiness, trembling, irregular heartbeat and nausea.

Cognitive Therapy is a widely accepted form of treatment for most anxiety disorders. It is also thought to be particularly effective in combating disorders where the patient doesn’t actually fear a situation but, rather, fears what could result from being in said situation. The ultimate goal of cognitive therapy is to modify distorted thoughts or misconceptions associated with whatever is being feared; the theory is that modifying these thoughts will decrease anxiety and avoidance of certain situations.