Can’t sleep? You may be a closet scaredy cat
Sufferers of poor sleep and insomnia may be afraid of the dark according to new research.
The findings presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting in Boston are the first to suggest that a fear of darkness can lead to sleep disturbances and problems sleeping in some adults.
In a small study, researchers measured blink responses to unexpected bursts of sound in light and dark surroundings in nearly 100 college students who were either good sleepers or poor sleepers.
The researchers found that while good sleepers gradually became accustomed to the sound disturbances, poor sleepers became even more stressed and startled by the unexpected noises.
Moreover, anxiety levels in poor sleepers seems to increase when exposed to a sudden burst of sound when the lights were turned off.
Researchers also surveyed participants and found that almost twice as many poor sleepers admit to being afraid of the dark at 46 percent, compared to 26 percent of good sleepers admitting the same fear.
Are you afraid of the dark?