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To Sam

I'm scared of sleeping

i will keep myself awake until 4 or 3am until I am too tired to stay awake and fall asleep because I have a huge fear of dying in my sleep!! its starting to affect me as im extremely tired during school, my anxiety is worse and my appetite is gone. but i cant help it, im just so scared to go to sleep cuz i think i will die..

Ask Sam


Hi there

Feeling anxious can affect you in different ways, you might delay doing something you find scary or try to avoid it altogether. Avoiding uncomfortable situations might seem helpful at first but not facing the thing you’re scared of will probably make your life harder in the long run.

Most people have a fear of dying to different degrees and it’s natural to want to feel safe. But when your fear  makes everyday life difficult or stops you from doing things that would be good for you, it’s probably time to try some new ideas. Sleep is necessary for your health and can’t be avoided forever, so it’s important to work something out.

There are lots of things you can do to feel calmer when you feel anxious or panicked. You can find some Ideas for distractions and calming techniques in our Calm Zone or you can try out our new tool, the coping kit. Some things take practice  and some things might work better at different times so try different ideas to find what works best for you.

Talking about your feelings and fear can help. Sometimes just saying out loud what makes you afraid or writing it in an email can make you feel better and help understand what’s happening.  You might not remember when or why your fear started or it might be connected to an event or a memory. You could ask someone you trust to support you in a practical way. For example, they could check in with you when you go to bed, do something relaxing together in the evening or reassure you that you’re safe from time to time.

Thank you for writing to me and I hope my advice helps. Remember, it can take some time to overcome fears so keep track of your progress in your journal so you can see the improvements you make. If you feel like talking more about your feelings, you can get in touch with  our counsellors. They are there for you and won’t judge you. You can also share your experience with other young people on the message boards or see your doctor if things don’t improve.

Take care,


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