Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Fear Keeps Me Awake At Night (Page 1)

Lately I have had the worst insomnia. I've always had sleeping problems, due to depression and stress. But lately I am so scared all the time, so terrified at night that I cannot relax enough to sleep even when I am exhausted beyond belief. I live alone, which i'm sure is part of the problem, and i've had this overwhelming fear of someone breaking in and raping and murdering me. Every little noise makes me jump, and I get up ten thousand times a night to check all the windows, and doors, and peek into every closet and room of the apartment. I can't stand it anymore! I'm utterly exhausted and even when I take otc sleeping pills I can't sleep because my mind will fight for me to stay awake because i'm so scared something will happen.

I don't know why i'm so afraid all of a sudden. A few weeks ago I was at the bank, parked in the drive-thru teller, and I saw a guy get robbed by three men who came up to his truck as he was pulling away from the other drive-thru teller. Do you think that may have something to do with it?

I don't know if anyone has any advice, but I would appreciate any feedback.
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First Helper szieninca
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Users who thank akiabella for this post: MadameM 

replied February 20th, 2007
thank god i was beginng to think i was the only one searching for answers about this. same as you, ive always had bad insomnia but in the past 2 weeks its gotten really bad because of my paranoid fears (i feel like im reverting back to those fears i had as a young child) last night reached its peak though, i locked myself in my room with the light on just as i have been doing for the past few nights and i sat with my back pressed against my wall while looking around frantically.

i guess its possible that witnessing this robbery triggered your intense fears...however its more likely to be a coincidence.

have you been under alot of stress lately? any new medications?

im glad someone else realizing that medication cannot fix all sleeping problems. ive tried explaining this to my parents who are pill pushers, but they think ill just let the meds take over and i can fall alseep without a problem.

maybe if we can find some common possible causes we can figure out how to fix it.
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replied January 19th, 2012
Fear of someone breaking in, raping then killing you.
I'm only 16. A few months ago my boyfriend got robbed. I watched the guy put a gun to my boyfriends head. It was seriously one of the single most scariest things I think I've ever had to see. Since then I've been diagnosed with anxiety, depression & bipolar. I'm not medicated for anything yet though. I don't go to sleep until late now too. But, I don't take any sleeping meds. I really honestly believe someone's going to break into my house, rape me & kill my family. & I definately think that the robbery triggered her fear. I've always had the fear of the dark & being raped. But it's never been this bad. My therapist said that the robbery definately did trigger me to be more afraid. But, everyone's different I guess.
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replied March 24th, 2009
similar problem
Hi, I rent an apratment with a strange roommate. We have separate rooms and separate bathrooms and toilets. We are separated by a living room, and my room has a lock. He is a guy, and I'm a girl. I am doing my Master's degree, and I am extremely busy every day. But my roommate has a girlfriend. Many times he screams at his girlfriend at nights. He gets so upset with her that he yells at her loud enough that you could hear his voice on the first floor of the building at the opposite end (and we live on the fourth floor). Few times he turned on loud music, and I could sleep with that. If I'm tired enough I may sleep with the noise. But when he yells, he sounds as if he were mad as hell and metnally disturbed. He sounded really insane, and he slammed doors and walked heavily and fast - all at night. One time I was so afraid, that I went to sleep outside as homeless. Another time I called poilce to ask him out. But now, even when he does not scream I'm terrified of every little noise. I sometimes sleep with lights on, and my heart pumps so fast every time I hear little noise from anything - even if it's wind. I always imagine what if it's my roommate turning insane again. So, I could not fall asleep properly. Now, after I promised to stop paying half of my rent to my roommate as long as he keeps screaming, he seems to be quiet at nights ... so far. But I still had difficulties falling asleep. I bought sleeping pills, and took double dosage at the same time in the evening. It seemed to work. Now, I have one more week planned with going to bed with a regular dosage (1 pill) before bed. But I started having another problem, I can't wake up once I fall asleep. I set up seven different alarm clocks as loud as possible, and I make sure I sleep 8 hours, and still I can't wake up after 8 hours of sleep. It's not easy to fall asleep, but I managed to do it at the same time everyday. I can fall asleep even without sleep aid, but after sleeping 8 hours I can't wake up. I can sleep for 11 hours and only then I wake up. My schedule is screwed up, and I'm far behind in my classes (getting ready to fail)
Help.
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replied May 17th, 2009
Cant sleep due to fear of someone breaking in
Thank-you for putting your problem on here as now I no Im not the only one who suffers with this. I have fears of someone breaking in at night, every noise i hear Im up like a shot looking out the windows and going down stairs to re-check all the doors windows etc but nothing. Its an awful feeling to have,I even went and brought a dog for extra protection but this still hasnt helped me. It started when my husband began night shifts. I have 2 small children and i also fear that something will happen to them so alot of the time i dont sleep at night and kip during the day which isnt doing much for my health, headaches, mood swings etc due to not sleeping properly. Thank- you for putting this up as it has really helped me, just knowing that someone-else is going through the same thing really helps.....A BIG THANK-YOU
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Users who thank Kaiah for this post: Phobia4life 

replied June 12th, 2009
Obsessive fear of break-in/getting attacked while asleep
I am so happy I'm not the only one who feels this way... I usually don't fall asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning if at all due to my obsessive fears that someone is going to break into my house, rape me and kill me and my family. Maybe I watch too many crime shows or something, but this is the worst feeling in the world... I can't relax anymore...I am constantly scared to death. I keep pepper spray and kitchen knives near my bed at times to make myself feel protected... this cannot be normal. I don't know what to do.
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replied April 15th, 2012
Hi thanks for putting this on here. Everything you said i fear alit. I dont fall asleep until after 3 to 4ish sometimes. I even have my kids sleep with me us in one room with the door lock because im scared to death! I keep thinkn im crazy. I get freak out by every noise. Im very exhausted. I honestly dont know how to help put my mind atease to truly rest. I am a single mom and stay alone. Its been this way with the fear but got worse when i move by myself. I even have nightmares of gettin my door kick in and gun down and things!
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replied April 16th, 2012
Terrified To sleep at Night, Break-ins and All
I was frantically looking for someone who wrote something about this concern that is "recent". I am so glad there are still people out there that obsesses about people breaking in, other than me. I have always been scared of something at night. I find myself always facing a mirrior so I can watch pretty much all around me, I also every now and then will poke my head up and look at the crack of the door to see if a light is shinning through,each sound that our apartment makes it makes my heart skip a beat and makes me sweat. I'm pretty sure I know every feeling there is about being scared at night.
The biggest thing that gets me, are my thoughts. Sometimes I think to hard about the negitives that could happen in the night I have to open my eyes then quickly close them in the hopes of erasing it, kind of like an etch and sketch.
After I'm exhausted from giving myself heart-attacks,checking doors,analyzing every sound and opening and closing my eyes a million times I remember the logic in life.
They are just thoughts... Yes, the world is ugly but there is also beauty. Your kids are proof that beauty still exist.
Try to practice that, practice believing the world is/can be beautiful. Your house is your sentuary. Yes, you have the right to be cautious around your sentuary but you have to keep your self calm and open to keep your sentuary.
What I'm trying to say is that your house is your house, its suppose to be a place to relax, to escape from from reality. Don't imprison your self, try to seperate what is logic and what is going over board.
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replied May 25th, 2012
I struggle from a similar issue. I recently have acknowledged some trauma that I encountered from my childhood. However, I cannot remember most of it at all. But I have processed and talked about all that I can remember. Doing this has been the best but worse thing ever. For the past year I have been sharing the same bed with my best-friend/ roommate. When I sleep alone I become panicky. My biggest fear is someone breaking in and raping me or her. I have always had this problem but now it is almost unbearable. I also have horrible dreams that are centered around rape and break ins. For the past year I have slept either in the same bed with her or same room. When I try sleeping alone my body just melts. I can't breath, I cry uncontrollably and my mind races. I try to think of positive things but the negative part takes over and changes any scenario into a sexually abusive one.
My roommate has left this weekend and will not be back for a few days. I do not know how I will get through the nights.
It upsets me so much because I just want to be able to sleep and sleep alone and have peace. I have been struggling with what I should do. I think I need anti-anxietys with therapy. However, I do not want to be diagnosed with any PTSD or disorder for the fear that it will be documented and follow me my entire life (insurance). It's a terrible feeling when the night comes.
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replied June 12th, 2009
OK, i am not a medical professional, but i have had a similar experience and found some things that have helped me greatly. once again though i am no doctor so take my advice with a grain of salt. all of you have similar but different problems as well the once who is living with a guy that seems at least verbaly abusive to his girlfriend, well that is an obviously bad living situation, and u should do what you need to do to get out of there in my opinion. now im not sure wbout the other 2 of you, do u have any depression or anxiety problems/ dissorders? i do i had a situation where my girlfriend who i lived with had to go out of country recently for 3 months, shortly before that my anxiety attacks had come back ( they had not been nearly as bad for about 2 years). between some derpression issues and bad anxiety i can assure u i was a reck for a while although i cant say i was up staring at walls, fears would keep me awake all night long ( in large part a fear of dying ) maybe not to robbers usually or anything like that i was more worried of simply dying in there on my own and not being able to do anything about it. i am sure much of this was stimulated from my anxiety dissorder and if any of you dont know wether u have one or not i encourage u to find out it is very common, easily medicated and can help a ton!. but short of medication i have also found out some other very useful 'techniques' that made those 3 months and even my present life alot easier. although they say to go to sleep with the lights off and no noise is generally the best from what i hear i found that once i would turn the lights off compleately or it got too quiet that is often when it would start to get the worst. or at least when it would really begin to get bad. in learnng to deal with my anxiety dissorder, i have learned how to do some things to take my mind off of those horrible and highly inprobbable issues that cycle through your mind and often keep you on edge or outright terrified. everyone will have your own thingsthat work for you but i will give you some that have worked for me and try to find some similar things in your life you can use. one thing is to realize that you are generally being irrational/ overly anxious, once u realize it then u can try to fight it... by fight it in my case i mean distracting my self from myself. i know that sounds wierd, but once i get caught up thinking of all these bad things that can happen, what i really need is to just stop thinking and get invested in something outside of myself. now one thing i do is i have a movie, or a couple movies that i love and always put me in at least a bit of a good mood. i recomend something not to deep deffinately not depressing but still somewhat involving. for me the Shreck series was perfect! somewhat childish funny good music and easy to just observe. i have watched shreck 2 so many times it is rediculous haha. also some songs can help, for me something comforting like mazzy star but i think a key is to have it be something that moves u a bit but not to much just enough to get u involved with it and outside of your own thoughts. it may seem as though it is not working right away but hey its worth a shot i wuold say dont try it and expect it to always work in 5 minutes sometimes leave one dim light on in your room turn the tv on start watching shreck 2 ( in my case) and make yourself try to watch it for at least 15 min or so, and i would be willing to bet most of the time you will find yourself getting caught up in it by then and maybe not compleately soothed ut at least much more calm and collected relatively speeking. also one other thing i do for this is i drink tea. i wouldnt recomend coffee because of to much caffine but a good tea. grean or white something soothing maybe even a relaxing herbal tea for me its a lipton blueberry pomagranite white tea, ever since a pharmicist friend of mine told me white tea has stuff in it that promotes goo dmental health and positive thinking. so in short once u are ready to sleep or jsut tryin to relax for it throw on that movie or music that can get you out of your head a bit soemthing relaxed, and make yourself a good cup of hot white tea. just enjoy the smell of it while its cooling down, and focus on those relaxing qualities. your mind may still want to stray to those troublesome issues but dont let it just realize it and make your self inhale that relaxing smell and enjoy that soothing music/movie it has seriosuly worked wonders for me, and i hope this might be some help to at least one of you.
good luck and let me know i any of this helps or if you have found anything that works for you!
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replied August 3rd, 2009
I am glad I am not the only one. I worry so much every night i am beginning to feel crazy and paranoid. I am so afraid that every noise I hear is someone breaking or even when I do fall asleep I dream that someone has broken in and is going to hurt us, I fear being broken into raped and having my kids hurt or kidnapped more than anything and nothing I do can ease that fear. it has been months and I still can't get to sleep before 3am. I wonder if it has something to do with the brain? I've never been afraid like this before, and it is EVERY night but only at my own house, I feel safe at other places.
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replied August 9th, 2009
Since I was a child I have been terribly afraid of the dark. As a child I use to bury my head underneath my covers. I use to share a room with my two sisters so I was never able to turn on the light and I was not allowed to leave my bedroom. I use to sit by our bedroom door and fall asleep because there was light from the hallway.

As far as I remember I have always been afraid of the dark. When i got my own room I began to keep my lights on at night and I would turn my music on to drown out the sounds I would hear.

I thought that I would grow out of it but it seems to have gotten progressively worse. I cannot sleep without my lights on. I live with my boyfriend and i sleep fine most of the time with the lights off if he is there. however he is gone this weekend and I have not been able to sleep at all. I feel like I am hearing doors opening and closing, walking around, and people talking. Every time I get up....and walk into our hallway....it is complete silence. I am terrified to say the least.

I have four cats and they do not seem to react to anything, but i can't get over my imagination. I imagine the worst possible situations. I am afraid of ghosts, someone breaking in, murderers....everything imaginable!

My fear at night time is a lot worse than when I was younger and I don't know what to do anymore. My boyfriend just gets frustrated and annoyed. He thinks that I am just being ridiculous...but i can't help it. i am 20 years old. i feel like i am crazy.
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replied December 30th, 2009
Crazy fear of being murdered or stalked.
img0728, I feel exactly the same, except i'm a 13 year-old boy. I feel that when I was little, I was afraid of something like wolf-man in the closet that was gonna eat me. Or a witch bursting through the window and attacking me. Now it's gone to an extreme, like serial killers hiding behind things, a murderer in my closet, etc.. When I was about 5 i would have my parents, grandma, or aunt put me to sleep. Now it's just extreme. Like someone is watching me through a window. And it's not only at night. Right now as I type this, I keep looking behind me to make sure no one is there. It's crazy! And now I feel as if it's gonna get worse. Alot of times I tell myself that my life sucks and it would be good for me to die, but I'm still scared as hell!
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replied December 30th, 2009
Experienced User
Don't be afraid guys, theres really nothing to be afraid of.
Just say to yourself, God knows all about it.
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replied January 2nd, 2010
Finally.. Some people with this problem. Do any of you ever 'feel' a presence? I'm 15 and I can't use a bathroom with a window 'cause I feel as if there's someone watching me and I generally can't do anything without knowing what's near me. I think just talking about it is the best cure.
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replied January 2nd, 2010
Experienced User
I sometimes feel like someone is there when there's no one there.

But i think that everyone sometimes feels that from time to time.

I'm really not afraid of anything or anyone, but even i feel that way sometimes, i just say to myself, if there is someone there and they come in, i'd beat em down. lol!!
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replied January 26th, 2010
5am - Wide Awake - Total fear of burglary and being attacked
It's 5am now ... I am wide awake with fear... cannot sleep.. about an hour ago a car pulled up outside our neighbours house and I though they were being broken into... i was freaking out.. couldn't breathe... I kept thinking it's a Monday night and they're a family with young kids so they wouldn't have visitors coming or going at 3.30am. I woke my dad and made him check it out... turns out they're my neighbours employees meeting for an early start at work... they had to be on the road by 4am. I felt so stupid but yet relieved

We live in a good area which i think is what scares me most.. i feel like my family and our neighbours are perfect targets for robbery. Like it's getting out of hand now though .. I'm 21yrs old and when I come home from college at the weekends I get so uneasy trying 2 sleep that my Mom has to sleep in my room with me.

When i'm away at college i feel really safe and sleep perfectly ... i think thats because we have a security guard that patrols the campus 24hrs a day. so it gives good piece of mind

I know this is totally irrational.. but I'm terrified. Our dog died back in August ... he was part of our family for 10 years and always slept at the end of my bed when i was home, he was no guard dog... a little sweetie in fact but I always felt safe with him sleeping in my room like he was protecting me. I miss him more everyday.

Every noise... every gust of wind and i'm up like a shot... these sleepless nights are killing me.. Sad I'm very reluctant to take any kind of sleeping medication.. I once tried a cough syrup when i had the flu... it had some sort of sleeping chemical in it... i didn't wake for almost 19hrs.. got an awful fright.. even after i woke i was groggy for two days after .. so never again...lol I would say to everyone thinking of taking any medication in life... think it through first.. read the instructions leaflet 3 times and be clear on what you are putting into your body and how it will effect you.

Finally... Thank You to everyone who posted on this forum... I'm a total first timer to any sort of forum ... so just knowing that there are others in the world awake feeling as I do.. is sort of comforting in a way.. Hopefully we'll all get a good nights sleep sooner rather than later.

Take Care.. Smile
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replied January 26th, 2010
Experienced User
@SleepingBeautyElle

I feel so bad for you, i have problems sleeping as well but it's not out of fear, i just have really bad insomnia.

I also understand why you are afraid as well, because where i live home invasions are really really bad.

I really hope you feel better, i know GOD watches over my every whim, so you should go to him in prayer with this problem.

I know it sounds like make-believe, but the GOD of the bible is real and he see's all.

I really hope he gives you piece of mind so you can get a full night sleep while at home.

You know what? people that do home invasions really really really get me mad, because they don't have what other people worked so hard to get in this life, they take it upon themselves to go and take it from them.

It's cowardly and laziness, why don't those lazy bumbs get an education and a job?.

Sorry for the little rant at the end.

I hope you feel better. Smile
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replied February 2nd, 2010
not able to sleep
Hi,

Similar type of problem.. .i am facing. I am 30 year old male from India presently in US giving IT consultancy to some company. Living alone in Motel from last 3 months.

2 weeks before I was � having plenty of sleep no fear that time, I used to watch horror movies at night. Last movie I have seen �Paranormal Activity� and after watching this movie � I am not able to sleep properly, At nite when I try to sleep, every singly noise either its from Heater Auto-cutoff or from other equipment scaring me, its feel like some one is in my room & my fear increasing day by day. Daily I sleep after 4:30 AM & walkup at 8:30AM, in office I am not able to work properly.

Is anybody can help me.
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replied April 7th, 2010
Hi,

I also have these problems.
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replied April 8th, 2010
Re: similar problem
I think it will be better, if you can discuss and solve the problem with him directly.
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replied April 9th, 2010
I was raised in an abusive home, and have had similar problems with anxiety and sleeplessness for years, and this seems to help me. When my subconscious keeps obsessing on a particular fear, I stop myself, then actually TALK OUT LOUD to God, and my own subconscious. (You can just talk to your subconscious if you want) I say, " I understand that (name the fear) is important, and I acknowledge that (name the fear) needs to be recognized. Subconscious - I thank for making me aware of (name the fear). Now that I have acknowledged this, I choose to give it to God, and let Him deal with it. Subconscious - it''s okay now, I understand. I appreciate what you do for me, watching over me to be sure I''m safe. Now that you''ve made me aware of this, it''s okay to let me relax completely, and fall into a deep, healing, restful, sleep." It may take a few times to get the full effect, but it never fails for me!
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replied April 27th, 2010
Terrified at night
I feel the same way. I am terrified of going to sleep. My husband sleeps in another room because he snores really loud, so I am all alone at night with my 2 girls sleeping in another room. Sometimes he is out of the country for months at a time and I barely sleep at all. My heart races, every sound scares me. If the ac/heat is running I tell myself I will fall asleep when it turns off - but when it turns off I hear little things and I have to get up and check the doors to make sure everything is locked. I am afraid of someone breaking in and killing us, I am also afraid of paranormal (ghosts, demons) and I keep seeing shadows at night, sometimes hear talking and think someone is downstairs. I''m barely getting any sleep and then when I do get up I''m rather zoned out. I live for the weekends, because then no matter how late the fears keep me up - at least I can sleep late. Sometimes 12 hours at a time.
Last night my 8 yr old dreamed someone broke in and wanted to kill us all - but they were killing me first, in front of the kids. Does anyone have any helpful advice?
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replied July 12th, 2012
This is exactly like me. So glad im not alone...
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Users who thank szieninca for this post: Phobia4life 

replied April 27th, 2010
fears
I''ve had problems with sleeping because of perceived fears, too. When I was in highschool I lived with my dad in a 2 story house, and I had the entire 2nd story to myself. I was convinced there was a ghost that lived in the guest room. My house was set up so that you had to walk by the guest room to get to the bathroom, so I was always afraid to go to the bathroom at night. I also got scared by any noise, to the point that I had to listen to a cd player to get to sleep.
Eventually, I got over this. Ghosts no longer bother me, but I have to make sure I never watch horror/scary movies.. because if I do I obsesses over them.
My new fear as I''ve grown older (24 now), is that my house will get broken into. I live alone (but right next to my mom''s house). I''m afraid that someone will bring a ladder to my house, break in by cutting the screen on my porch, and smash through my front door (sliding glass door) with a bat. I sometimes have the urge to buy a shotgun to protect myself.
I have a small fan that I turn on at night when I''m going to bed that drowns out all sound.. and this seems to work for me.
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