Somniphobia Fear of sleep



Commonly known as somniphobia , which is the persistent, abnormal, unjustified and pathological fear of sleeping. Another name that can be found in books or on the web is hypnophobia or clinophobia .

The fear of falling asleep in those who suffer from this disorder arises from the association of the state of unconsciousness with madness or even death .

Those who suffer from it fear that when they sleep they will never wake up.

In some cases, the trigger is the belief that the dreams that will eventually be had are actually delusions, which in this way make the person fall into a true state of dementia.

Somniphobia generates in those who suffer from it a state of continuous stress , with the subsequent physical and mental deterioration in an increasingly significant way.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to find somniphobes who suffer from hallucinations that, like a vicious cycle, only manage to further aggravate the aversion that the person feels to sleep.

This fear of falling asleep can occur at any age and the causes can be very varied.

You can see the following video where the king of terror Freddy Krueger wanted his victims to fall asleep in order to enter a world of nightmare:

Generally, somniphobia is associated with traumatic events that occur during the hours of sleep , such as those individuals who suffer from apnea, nightmares or simply negative experiences associated with sleep.

People who have experienced any of these events are, in fact, the most likely to suffer from this phobia.


People who suffer from somniphobia will present symptoms similar to other phobias , such as increased heart rate or excessive sweating, while presenting characteristic symptoms.

Although the symptoms as such do not threaten the life of the person, the physical and mental deterioration to which they are subjected due to lack of sleep can undoubtedly lead to death .

Therefore, in case of evidence of any of these symptoms, it is necessary to contact a health professional instead of simply ignoring it.

People with somniphobia may suffer from panic attacks because of the fear that something terrible will happen to them while they sleep, such as stop breathing or simply not waking up.

They will present a series of symptoms, among which is: shortness of breath, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, uncontrollable tremors, palpitations, nausea and drowsiness .


Like all phobias, somniphobia requires constant effort and the help of a professional, for which a treatment or therapeutic accompaniment is recommended , many times supported with pharmacological treatment so that the person suffering from this phobia receives the best help possible.

For this and many other phobias there are psychological therapies, Neuro-Linguistic Programming ( NLP ) techniques and Ontological Coaching.

In all cases of possible phobias, the best solution is to seek information regarding the symptoms and causes, and always consult with someone who knows the subject.

Under no circumstances is it advisable to ignore the presence of symptoms.

The estimated time for a person to overcome somniphobia is uncertain, because each person progresses differently, so the best suggestion is to always stay positive, seek support from loved ones, and be patient.


People who experience this phobia go into a severe state of panic that is caused by the fear that, while they are sleeping, some terrible event will occur.

Among the main examples they can mention that the person stops breathing at some point in the night or that they never wake up again.

Regardless of how certain they are that none of this will happen, they are unable to sleep and consequently also develop insomnia .

Clinophobics begin to feel a strange anxiety that prevents them from getting into bed when it is time to go to sleep , to fall asleep or to rest properly.

There are many reasons that can cause this phobia ( which is not only fear of the act of going to bed ), but everything that represents the arrival of bedtime.

If the phobia and the anxiety and fear reactions are maintained in the long term, the affected person could have real problems in their general physical and psychological functioning, which can greatly reduce the perception of their quality of life.

The pattern of symptoms exhibited by clinophobia differs greatly from one person to another. Depending on the degree of severity of the phobia itself, a person may only feel nervous, uncomfortable, or agitated before going to sleep.

While other people with more severe cases, they may suffer panic and / or anxiety attacks.

Symptoms may include muscle tension, nausea or dizziness, agitation, tremors, hyperventilation, increased heart rate, feeling flushed, dry mouth, vertigo, excessive sweating, and the inability to speak or think clearly.

Insomnia problems are the most common result of this phobia.

The reduction in the quantity and / or quality of sleep ends up causing in these people constant tiredness and fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, bad mood, apathy and a decrease in physical and psychological health in general.

Website | + posts

Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *