How to Get Over a Fear of Sleeping Alone

The internet is full of studies arguing for the benefits of couples sleeping together. However, what they tend to ignore is that there are also costs. Anyone kept awake by a snoring partner or one who tosses and turns can attest to the fact that sleeping with a loved one is not always sunshine and roses. Is sleeping alone better for you?

Sleeping Alone

As a social species, it’s not surprising that many of us prefer to sleep with a companion. Whether it’s a child slipping into Mom and Dad’s bed or cuddling with your dog in front of a fire, there is comfort and security in having someone beside you. However, millions of Americans sleep alone either due to relationship status or choice.

Among those millions, there are a sizeable number of people who actively fear sleeping alone. Statistically, this fear is more common among women but can affect men as well. Generally speaking, the fear of sleeping alone is rooted in the belief that something will happen to them while they’re sleeping. In these situations, logic doesn’t always work, so it is important to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Tricks for a Good Night’s Sleep

Watch What You Eat Before Bed

The National Sleep Foundation shows that what you eat and drink during the day actually has a sizeable impact on your sleep patterns, especially if you’re eating within a few hours of going to sleep.

The foundation suggests pairing carbohydrates with foods containing tryptophan for your best shot at a dreamless slumber. By contrast avoid fatty or spicy foods, which could upset your digestive tract and your sleep with it.

Go to Bed Early

It may seem silly, but most people who fear sleeping alone associate it with darkness. Don’t try to take a nap during the day, as it will decrease your chance of uninterrupted sleep, but do try putting yourself to bed a little early.

During the long days of summer, you might try going to lay down around sunset before darkness has fully enveloped your bedroom. Taking this step can help you recharge after nights of lost sleep and give you an opportunity to try sleeping without the added fear of the dark.

Listen to a Guided Meditation for Sleep

Guided meditations are a fantastic way of distracting yourself from your fear of sleeping alone. The key, of course, is to actually follow your guide. It feels funny at first, but you will rarely be awake long enough to actually hear the full meditation.

According to Harvard Medical School, the benefits of meditation can be achieved even if you don’t necessarily listen to it as you prepare for sleep. One study showed that one two hour session per week greatly reduced insomnia and other sleep disturbances.

Listen to an Audio Book

Find an audiobook version of one of your favorite books. As with the meditation, this is a method of distraction, so it helps to pick an audiobook that you will genuinely enjoy but know well enough that you won’t stay awake clinging to every word.

Adopt a Shelter Pet

This choice isn’t for everyone, but if you genuinely fear sleeping alone, then pets make an excellent surrogate. Make sure you are prepared for all the work an animal will certainly bring into your life. Not every dog or cat likes to cuddle, so you’ll want to ask the shelter staff who their biggest cuddle bugs are.

Sleep Disorders

The one potential risk of sleeping alone is that a sleep disorder could go unnoticed. In sleep apnea cases, it is often the patient’s partner who first notices the gaps in breathing. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can recognize the symptoms of a possible sleep disorder while also enjoying having a bed all to yourself.

If you regularly:

  • Wake up feeling exhausted
  • Fall asleep during the day
  • Feel a strong urge to move your legs while resting
  • Wake up choking or gasping

Then it is time to speak to a sleep specialist in New York. Dr. Shukla prides himself on his empathetic approach to medicine and is ready to hear your concerns regarding your sleep patterns. Be ready to explain your symptoms in detail to best assist him in identifying the underlying cause of your unrest.

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