On average, we spend a third of our lives asleep. If you’ve ever felt like your mind feels cloudy after a bad night’s sleep, it’ll come as no surprise to you that sleep is critical to cognitive function. Sleep deprivation can hinder learning, slows reaction time, and impairs cognitive performance.
However, if you’re experiencing fear, anxiety, or stress around the thought of sleeping you might be wondering: Why do I hate sleeping?
In this article, I explore some reasons why you hate sleeping, so that next time you’re resenting the thought of sleep, you have a better understanding of why you hate sleeping. That being said, if you are struggling to sleep, it is important that you seek help and advice from your doctor or healthcare professional.
Keep reading to find out more.
You could resent sleeping for a number of reasons. From sleep and anxiety disorders to depression, if you are struggling to sleep, it’s important to establish what is causing your negative association with sleep.
Below are just a few reasons that you might hate sleeping:
You could hate sleeping because you have somniphobia, which is the chronic and irrational fear of falling asleep. Somniphobia causes extreme anxiety and fear around the thought of going to bed.
Feeling anxious about going to sleep, having panic attacks when it’s time to go to bed, and experiencing distress as you draw closer to sleep are just a few symptoms of somniphobia.
However, there isn’t an exact cause of somniphobia. That being said, some sleep disorders could play a part in somniphobia developing.
- Sleep paralysis could be the cause of your somniphobia. Sleep paralysis occurs when your mind wakes up from REM sleep, but your body remains paralyzed, making it incredibly difficult to move. In this state, people have been known to experience hallucinations that can be frightening, making sufferers of sleep paralysis hesitant and scared to sleep.
- Nightmare disorder could be another cause of your somniphobia. This disorder causes recurring, vivid nightmares that can frighten you and affect you throughout your day.
Another potential reason why you hate sleeping could be down to insomnia. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it incredibly difficult to fall asleep, remain asleep, or get back to sleep once you’ve woken up,
Insomnia can lead to symptoms such as irritability, extreme tiredness, and depression, and anxiety to name a few if you don’t work out what’s causing it and address the problem. Common causes of chronic insomnia include but are not limited to:
- Stress. If you’re worried about anything, whether it be work, finances, or family issues, this can significantly affect your sleep.
- Poor sleeping habits. An irregular bedtime, screen time before sleep, and an uncomfortable sleeping environment can interfere with your sleep cycle.
- Travel or work schedule. Disrupting your body's circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia, including jet lag, working a late or early shift, or changing shift patterns.
In the same way that insomnia can cause depression, having depression makes a person more likely to develop sleep issues, too. The two come hand in hand.
Depression can make it increasingly difficult to carry out normal day-to-day tasks, including going to sleep. Symptoms of depression include but are not limited to:
- Feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty.
- A persistent sad, low, or irritable mood.
- Insomnia, waking up too early, or oversleeping.
- Difficulty concentrating.
If you believe that you have a disorder that is affecting your ability to sleep or is giving you a negative association towards sleep, it’s best to reach out to a mental health professional to discuss the next steps.
You might find that boredom is the cause of your lack of sleep. It might be that you hate sleeping simply because you believe there’s always something better to be doing, and you’re now in a perpetual cycle that you can’t escape. If this is the case, however, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough exercise. Physical tiredness can help to counteract anxious or bored thoughts, as your body needs sleep even if you think that you don’t!
Getting enough sleep is fundamental to your health, and you need to find a way to wind down to encourage yourself to sleep. Whether it’s getting more exercise in, reading a book, or making sure that you’re not staring at a screen before bed, try to find ways to counteract your boredom that will encourage you to sleep simultaneously.
Why getting enough sleep is critical
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being and helps your brain to function properly. There’s a good reason that we spend a third of our lives asleep! While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember new information. Without sleep, you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.
Like your body needs time to recover and rest, your brain does, too! Sleep enhances muscle recovery and is regarded as one of the most important factors when it comes to physical recovery, as our muscles and tissues repair and rejuvenate as we sleep.
Sleep deprivation is not to be taken lightly. In fact, lack of sleep can put you at risk of developing serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Alongside this, a lack of sleep can seriously impair your cognitive function, and generally makes it much more difficult for you to learn and process new information.
You might hate sleeping for a variety of reasons, but establishing and recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution. If you’re struggling when it comes to sleeping at night, the most important thing to do is to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can, as talking about it brings you a step closer to finding the solution.