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Cause of Insomnia: Darkness?

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cause-of-insomnia-darknessAre You Afraid of the Dark?

One of the most common childhood fears is the fear of the dark. However, being scared of the dark is not so exclusive to children anymore. In fact, a new study presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting suggests for the first time that an underlying fear of the dark might be one of the causes of insomnia. Insomniacs or those with sleeping problems might want to pay attention to this sleep study. If you can’t fall asleep without a nightlight, you might want to pay attention to this potential discovery of a new form of insomnia treatment.

What is Insomnia?

Put simply, insomnia is the inability to sleep. There is acute, or short-term, insomnia and chronic, or long-term, insomnia. Acute insomnia may be caused by something situational, like stress at work or financially. Chronic insomnia lasts for over a month, and is often indicative of another problem. If you think you may suffer of insomnia or have before, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Actually, victims of insomnia are the majority. More than 50 percent of Americans have reported having sleeping problems in the past year. There are medicines you can take for insomnia, but clearly, there’s still some problems to work on for those with sleep trouble.

New Study on Insomnia and Darkness

In this new sleep study, the Associated Professional Sleep Societies gathered 93 individuals, both good sleepers and bad, with an average age of 22 and with 73 percent of them being women. A survey they took of the participants showed that 46 percent of the bad sleepers said they had some fears of the dark, as opposed to the 26 percent of good sleepers. They tested this survey with a study using eye-blink latency, and what they found only confirmed what was reported in the survey.

Does Darkness Cause Insomnia?

Poor sleepers experienced a decrease in eyeblink latency when exposed to noise and good sleepers experienced an increase. What that means the noises startled the poor sleepers than the good sleepers, and the good sleepers were better able to accommodate to the noises. Researchers figured this out by monitoring small twitches in the eye muscles, and the bumps in the night startled the poor sleepers much more. This goes to show that those who have to sleep with the TV on or with the bathroom light on and have trouble sleeping may be able to put two and two together. Their fear of the dark could be leading to their insomnia.

How to Sleep Better: There's Hope for Insomniacs!

In the past, insomnia has often been fought with the use of drugs and home remedies. For some, this has worked, but others still suffer from sleep deprevation. This may offer the simple treatment of a phobia, which will in turn cure their insomnia. This non-drug therapy may prove to be a major achievement in those looking for help with their sleeping problems.

46 percent of poor sleepers who are afraid of the dark is not a small number, and could be a big leap in sleep studies.

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