If you have trouble sleeping at night, you may be suffering from a condition which is more than simple insomnia. Without realizing it, you might suffer from a phobia of the dark.
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston showed that some adults cannot sleep because they fear of the dark.
Researchers at Toronto conducted a study of nearly 100 students who are having trouble sleeping at night. Researchers then monitored the eye muscle twitches in their sleep with a small parameter of sound and lights that are turned on and off.
The results showed that people who have sleep problems are more easily distracted by noises and the reaction is enlarged because of darkness. People who are able to familiarize themselves with the disorder, will not affect the quality of sleep, while for those who have insomnia becomes more anxious and shocked at the disorder at night.
“There are many patients who claim to be able to sleep only if the television or lights in the room are left on, it is similar to the behavior of children who are afraid of the dark,” said Dr. Colleen Carney, researcher and director of the sleep and depression laboratory in Ryerson University, as reported by the theglobeandmail.
When a survey on this subject was carried out, more than 50 percent of Americans report suffering from insomnia in the past year and about 19 percent have chronic sleep problems. From the percentage of patients with insomnia, about 46 percent admitted having concerns of the dark.
The highest cause of insomnia in the United States has been associated with risk factors such as high-stress levels, working a night shift, or mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. This study is the first to demonstrate that the fear of the dark could cause people to find difficulty in sleeping.
“Listening to a shocking sound in the evening is a useful way to assess whether a person is afraid of the dark. Without your awareness, this is a typical behavior of a phobia,” said Dr. Carney.
A person suffering from phobia of the dark, will not feel sleepy even though the room lights are dimmed. This is because the sufferers feel small voices will be louder when their surroundings are dark.
Currently, the National Institutes of Health recommends improving the quality of sleep with behavioral therapy to the treatment of insomnia. A general recommendation for someone who had not fallen asleep after 20 minutes of lying down is to do other activities outside the bedroom.
You can go to another room that is brighter and read or perform other activity until you feel sleepy. Once you feel sleepy, get back to the bedroom with little dim light conditions so that you sleep more soundly.
Insomnia is something you should avoid because it could adverse effects for the human health. Previously, it was reported that people with insomnia have risks of developing hypertension. There are many ways you can do to deal with this problem, one of which is by using speech therapy for insomnia.