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Hypnophobia is the fear of sleep (not the fear of hypnosis!) and derives its name from the Greek word for sleep ‘Hypnos’ – this is also the derivative for Hypnosis which in fact is the opposite of sleep!

Not getting a sufficient amount of sleep is bad for both mental and physical health as it causes the brain a whole range of problems.

Forcing people to stay awake for very long periods of time has been used as a form of torture in some unscrupulous countries as the mind hallucinates badly without sufficient sleep.

So, it is important to address this problem as soon as possible.

Hypnophobia is not the fear of hypnosis but the two words have become very linked. Unfortunately for practitioners of Analytical Therapy the word ‘hypno’ (meaning ‘sleep’) has led many people to believe that this is what happens in hypnotherapy which is totally inaccurate.

People may fear falling asleep for many different reasons, perhaps that they might ‘not wake up’ or that bad things might happen when they are asleep. Not getting enough sleep is particularly damaging to  people and can lead to a range of associated problems including depression, so worrying about sleeping can become a significant issue if it results in attempts to minimise sleep.

People with Hypnophobia may be suffering from Insomnia.

All phobias, regardless of what the feared object or circumstances are, produce feelings of Anxiety and Stress for the sufferer, and Hypnophobia is no different in this sense.

Hypnophobia banner - woman lying next to partner in bed wide awake

Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Hypnophobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.

We completely understand this here at TranceForm Psychology and will treat you and your Hypnophobia seriously.

For many years Psychologists have been aware that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Hypnophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents danger to them, then they will experience real fear.

The majority of people who do suffer with Hypnophobia recognise that their fear is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge. This is why simply being told to “snap out of it” rarely produces a solution!

Hypnophobia Symptoms

The symptoms of Hypnophobia are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:

  • Taking stimulants to keep awake
  • Avoiding sleep
  • Panic attacks
  • Problems Concentrating
  • Being quick tempered
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Aches & Pains
  • Fatigue
  • Migraines and Headaches

Hypnophobia Symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.

Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the phobia rather than solve it!

Hypnophobia may be the result of negative emotional experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.

Over time, the symptoms often become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “I’ve learnt to live with it.”

In just as many cases, Hypnophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated safety behaviours and routines are developed.

The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer from Hypnophobia will find a course of Psychological Therapy helps enormously.

Psychological Therapy for Hypnophobia

Psychological help for Hypnophobia - jigsaw pieces of the mind

If you’re committed to overcoming your Hypnophobia problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed programme.

The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.

Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.

Alternative Therapy Options for Hypnophobia

Alternative therapies for Hypnophobia Word Cloud

Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for Hypnophobia is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.

These include:

  • Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
  • General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
  • Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.

Free Initial Consultations for Hypnophobia

Free initial consultations for Hypnophobia banner

We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Hypnophobia prior to commencing any treatment plans.

The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.

During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.

At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.

Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

Related Concepts

self help cbt course for Hypnophobia on PC screen

Overcome Hypnophobia with Our Online Self-Help CBT Programme – Only £99!

Self-help CBT has been shown to be highly effective for anxiety-related problems such as Hypnophobia and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.

Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our Online Self-Help CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your problems without having to visit a therapist.

Click Self-Help CBT for Hypnophobia to find out more.

Get in Touch With Us.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Paul

View Paul's Profile

Tel: 07434 776125


Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist Joan Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Joan

View Joan's Profile

Tel: 07434 776504


Contact Binder

View Binder's Profile

Tel: 07438 389931


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Tranceform Psychology is a Trading name of Tranceform Limited, a limited company registered in England and Wales (08536576).