2

votes

Fear of the dark and sleep quality

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 15, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Although I'm a big fan of the song Fear of the Dark, that's not my issue here; the issue is that I'm a pretty squeamish guy when it comes to being in the dark. It may be because I've watched too many horror movies or something, but I just can't stand having a completely dark room to sleep in. It sort of feels like being on a high place and having your eyes closed, to me, for lack of a better description. Does anyone here have experience with getting over this sort of unease? Will not being able to get over this really hurt my lifestyle (I usually get less than 8 hours, but I do get a quality 6 1/2-7 hours)?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 04:16 PM

Melissa, I've seen your photo on the website you indicate on your profile page. You're very attractive. I am having a hard time believing that you didn't have a lot of people interested in your in High School.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 16, 2011
at 01:56 PM

Haven't swum in the sea since "Jaws"

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 16, 2011
at 01:54 PM

you need a fire to keep the wild animals at bay

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 12:49 PM

sleep on the floor, you'll feel lighter and more secure.

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 01:30 AM

But yeah, this is some great advice; I'll try, but it'll take time indeed.

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 01:28 AM

The only thing that I learned from Lost is that if I ever see a smoke monster, I'm gonna run the hell away.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 16, 2011
at 12:51 AM

lol, oops, yeah, your parents might not be so happy about that o_O don't worry, I certainly didn't have anyone interested in me in high school, at least that I was aware of.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 16, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Brett's also still in high school and living at home, so I'm guessing his parent's probably wouldn't be up for that idea. LOL.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 16, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Good heavens - I know exactly who the Tall Man is. I'm more scared of that sphere that bores into your brain. Egads.

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 12:37 AM

I wish, but as I said earlier on this week on the MDA forums, I got rejected~

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I'm mostly scared of brigands breaking in and the Slender Man. The latter is a sort of internet meme, so most people haven't heard of him, though. He's sort of Freddy Kreuger meets the Tall Man from Phantasm (which many people haven't heard of).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 15, 2011
at 11:35 PM

maybe you need someone to sleep with you. Someone attractive. It helps :P

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7 Answers

best answer

5
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 16, 2011
at 01:00 AM

Well, first we have to ask what the problem really is. How does it manifest in your experience? What EXACTLY does it mean for it to be "scary" or "painful"?

My guess is you're lying there and your mind keeps moving to imagining something attacking you, or perhaps you keep thinking of something approaching you or something. You want to verify whether there really is something sneaking up on you, but you can't because it's pitch dark. You might feel an abrupt ripple through your chest when you imagine that.

So what's the solution? Well, apparently whenever you lie in the dark, you start imagining that stuff. You can't fall asleep if a bunch of crazy images and bodily sensations keep distracting you like that. How do you get rid of it then? Simple. You associate darkness with these things because of movies or shows or something. So stop watching that crap (it really messes you up!), and try to reset your associations so you can lie there IN PEACE.

That's the key. Your associations distract you from falling asleep and even make you yearn for light because you know the light would banish that bullshit. But turning on the lights won't help. You'll keep yourself trapped in the cycle. What you really need to do is fight through it. Lie there even though it's distracting and uncomfortable, and you KNOW you won't fall asleep. Just fight through it.

If you never watch those shows or movies, and you lie there LONG ENOUGH, you'll reset your associations and you'll no longer associate lying in the dark in your room with fear, danger, and the rest of that crap. You'll start associating it with peace, quiet, and so on, because that's ACTUALLY WHAT'S HAPPENING. All you have to do is lie there long enough to destroy the old associations and replace them with new ones.

You need a far-sighted attitude to do it though; it won't happen right away. You'll need to be patient. It takes a long time to destroy such long-held associations, especially if you got them from a mind fuck like a horror movie or even a show like Lost, which could really fuck with you. It's all about being in control of your associations and how your mind works. Know what's going on, and you can fix it. Don't settle for having irrational fears. Don't stand for having irrational emotions. Change them. Take control.

Good luck!

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 01:28 AM

The only thing that I learned from Lost is that if I ever see a smoke monster, I'm gonna run the hell away.

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 01:30 AM

But yeah, this is some great advice; I'll try, but it'll take time indeed.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 16, 2011
at 01:56 PM

Haven't swum in the sea since "Jaws"

2
91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

on April 15, 2011
at 11:59 PM

The Zombie Apocalypse is coming, and for the life of me I can't convince my husband of that. Buy a night light and make sure your blinds are down every night. It will help. Seriously.

Honestly, if you're getting 7 hours quality sleep a night, despite your unease of the dark, you're doing well. Not everyone needs 8+ hours every night.

7807ddb36f3fa43477d7d3cf7a561980

on April 16, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I'm mostly scared of brigands breaking in and the Slender Man. The latter is a sort of internet meme, so most people haven't heard of him, though. He's sort of Freddy Kreuger meets the Tall Man from Phantasm (which many people haven't heard of).

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on April 16, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Good heavens - I know exactly who the Tall Man is. I'm more scared of that sphere that bores into your brain. Egads.

2
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on April 15, 2011
at 11:55 PM

Well, from personal experience I used to live at my mothers were I had a night light, then when I would stay at my dads who was on a farm, no night light (other then the stars).

I had a fear of being in a blacked out room when I was younger but now it is the normal and I have a really hard time trying to sleep if there is any light shinning in.

There was a while in the middle were it didn't seem to matter either way to me but now I need my dark.

EDIT,

I just had a thought was I work with lighting equipment all day, you could get a dimmer (just a basic one) plug a lamp into it and just turn it down a little bit each night to slowly get used to sleeping in the dark. Start at 100%, then 90% etc, just keep working it down until you are at 5% or even 1% then nothing.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 04:16 PM

How about trying Behavior Modification techniques?

1
2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 16, 2011
at 02:18 PM

I said: "What is the use of sombre night?" The Moon replied: "To frame my love-wan face." A fairy dame said: "That my fresh-wove lace May on the grasses catch the Sun's first light." "That we may keep with song our ancient rite," Croaked glistening frogs from their dank dwelling place. "That I may halt," a man said, "in my race, And rest my eyes that are grown tired of sight."

Your ebon frame, pale Moon, makes you more fair; Weave, gentle neighbor; frogs, pipe loud your song; Sad traveller, be dreamless sleep your share. And I would have night twenty times as long, And clasp my love in some dark bower where The Day could never come to do us wrong. by Joyce Kilmer

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 16, 2011
at 01:23 PM

I know this is going to sound weird, I also watch too much TV! Have you ever watched the show TAPS, basically the Ghost Hunters? They often say if there is some high level electro magnetic readings found in the room (from ceiling fans, electrical devices that are shorting or wiring is off or stuff in the walls) it often gives off a charge that can make a person feel uneasy, disrupt sleep or work for no apparent reason. They of course have gadgets, maybe they sell them at Home Depot?

call TAPS! :)

1
535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 16, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Well I sleep with my English Pointer so what can I say?

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