When I was younger, I had always had problems with sleepwalking in the middle of the night. My parents got really worried about me and thought I would hurt myself. It got so bad to the point where they bought baby guard rails and put them in front of the stairs so I would sleepwalk and fall down. Sleepwalking was a big part of me when I was younger and I had always had problems with it. So that gave me the idea to do some research and find out if anyone else has had/ or still has this problem.
At first, I was a bit skeptical about finding research with this background because I had never really heard of anyone who had a fear of sleeping unless they had just watched a scary movie prior to going to bed. I had always thought that sleeping was a natural occurrence that most people looked forward to and didn’t bother to second guess that they were ready to go to bed. But what I found was astonishing, and made me want to share with others around me.
I happened to stumble across this podcast that I found on This American Life named “Fear of sleep”. It shares stories of a couple of people who have trouble going to sleep at night because of traumatic childhood terrors, insomnia, infestations or straight up anxiety. The stories that are told are very interesting to listen to and give you a little slice of what others are struggling with.
The first episode is called “Stranger In The Night“. Comedian Mike Birbiglia shared stories of his night terrors and some times where he was woken up in the middle of the night screaming because some creature was trying to “attack” him. He closed with a very interesting story about the time he was sleepwalking and how he was almost killed by it. Click “Here” to read hear more about the story and my thoughts of it.
The second episode is named “Sleep’s Tiniest Enemies“. “Mrs. M”, (A woman who wants to keep her name anonymous) woke up in the middle of the night screaming because a cockroach happened to crawl in her ear! She had to rush to the hospital to get it taken out and then proceeds to say she has gotten used to the cockroach infestation in her house and that its just something I am not afraid of anymore. The next story is about a married couple and their daughter who have a serious bed bug problem and go to extreme lengths trying to get rid of their infestation. These stories are told by Robyn Semien and Nancy Updike. Click “here” to read my take on the episode
The Final episode I will be reviewing is named “The Bitter Fruits Of Wakefulness“. This story told by Joel Lovell, about his different anxiety’s that lead to his insomnia and how he was able to train himself to not sleep. The stories he shared from the nights of when he was younger about the kids who used to bully him that segued into his insomnia is what caused him to really have a fear of falling asleep. Most of his anxieties came from scenarios from his parent’s past that worried him to the point of trying not to sleep. Click “here” to read a more in-depth look at my perspective.
I am beyond happy that I found this podcast by “This American Life”. It was very interesting to hear about other people’s sleeping problems. I know it may sound silly, but when I was younger I had thought that I was the only one who couldn’t sleep or sleepwalk. I now realize that there are people out there who had it much worse than I did. It really put me in perspective and showed me that I should be thankful that I can fall asleep now because there are people out there who are struggling with one of the most natural ways of relaxing life has to offer. I learned so much from this podcast and will continue to listen to the last 2 episodes to see what happens.