Adult Fear of the Dark May Be What\'s Keeping Canadians up at Night

New Toronto-based research suggests that many adults who have trouble sleeping may have a fear of the dark.

Having trouble sleeping at night? Is it because of a constant fear that something’s always near?

New research from Ryerson University in Toronto suggests that it might not be just our busy lifestyles that are keeping us up; it could be an adult fear of the dark.

The study found that of the students who participated in the study, half reported being afraid of the dark. Researchers were able to confirm these fears by measuring the blink responses of participants to sudden noise bursts between light and dark settings. Good sleepers adapted to the noises but poor sleepers became more anticipatory when the lights went down.

The findings may lead to new insomnia treatments which currently don’t take into consideration night phobias. Colleen Carney, the principal investigator for the study, suggests that the most effective treatment for insomnia is currently to encourage people to leave their dark bedrooms and go into a lit room. However, this treatment would not be suitable for treating a dark-related phobia.

We need sleep

In the short term, not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue, cognitive difficulties, daytime sleepiness, decreased motivation, irritability, and increased perception of stress. In the long term, lack of sleep can lead to more significant health problems, and has also been linked to weight gain.

Getting a good night’s rest is not only part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can also help improve memory and boost creativity.

Conquer your sleep problem

  • sleeping during the day
  • sleeping as we age
  • sleep and productivity
  • sunday night insomnia


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