I have a sleeping condition called Somniphobia, fear of actually falling asleep. I stay up very late, and take sleeping pills, trying to fight my tiredness and not fall asleep. Everynight I have night mares or extremely vivid dreams. Many are very frightening. A lot of times I know i am dreaming, and something terrible is happening in the dream, such as being suffocated and not being able to breath. I fear I will die sometimes. So I try my absolute hardest to wake myself up, and sometimes I think if I do not, I will die. Other times I tell myself "Its only a dream, you arent really suffocating, you are probably breathing just fine". I also sometimes get really loud disturbing noises in my head while sleeping, as well as bright white lights. Does anyone else have this? Has anything else you have done helped? Lastly, I know it is totally irrational, but sometimes I fear that I wont wake up if I fall asleep. But mostly it is the nightmares/noises/lights that I fear. Just want to add that my grandma has the same problem as I do. I am 26 years old.
I would encourage you to delve deeper into your family history of this medical problem. If your grandma is still alive question her as to who else in the family suffer from this. To cut expenseses once you have gotten all the family background on this, ask your doctor if he can put you in contact with the medical team who uses volunteers for medical research...perhaps they would be interested in taking blood samples from the living relatives to find out more about this...you could also possibly help others as you help yourself.