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Can't sleep in an empty house

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(not sure where to post this)

Ever since I was a teenager, I haven't been able to sleep in an empty house. I stay up all night and go to sleep when the sun comes up. Or, I turn on all the lights and the tv, and try to sleep on the couch. It's not that I'm afraid of the dark, or dying, or aliens or anything like that. It just freaks me out that someone might walk in and surprise me. I feel like someone might sneak up on me while I was asleep. Not sure what they would do; I just REALLY hate being awakened suddenly. I just feel incredibly vulnerable in those situations. It really doesn't matter if it's day or night, but it's not as difficult during the day. But if someone is in the house, even if they're on the opposite side of the house, no problem.

It's the same in hotels, when I go camping, or at a friends house when they aren't there. I just get nervous, anxious, scared. It's completely irrational. I see myself as the kind of person who would live in a cabin out in the woods, but then I know I can't because I would be terrified. I don't think I could ever live by myself because I would never sleep.

Anyone else do this, or heard of it, or tell me what you think?

I'm a fairly tough guy, outdoorsy, have guns, and generally have very little fear about anything. So, I'm even embarrassed admitting it here.

I haven't told anyone about this. No one, not even my docs.

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Well, I also sleep with the TV on and, like you, it has nothing to do with being afraid of the dark. I just feel the need to have it on... or something.

It seems like this fear is really debilitating in that you are losing out on sleep because of it. I think you should definitely bring it up with your doctors. You have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of. At our worst, we cannot control out fears and phobias, but what we can control is whether or not we choose to get help for them. I think talking about it in therapy might prove beneficial for you, Obscuremachine.

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Oh God ME TOO! I've had this problem ever since I got mugged, and I just moved to my own apartment, so I'm sleeping alone almost every night and it is HELL! I turn all the lights on, rig up impromptu burglar traps in front of the front door and the screen door to the balcony, and go through the whole house and check for people hiding in closets and under tables before I get into bed. I also sleep with all the lights on, and an audiobook playing and I STILL can't fall asleep because I think I'm going to be murdered in my bed. So not exactly for the same reason, but the SAME DAMNED PROBLEM!

If I figure anything out I'll let you know.

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I have a security system on the house, and two dogs (neither of whom is actually fierce, but a) they're loud and b) they're company) and so I never feel alone, even when Husband is gone. But when I was very persistently depressed and out of it (overmedicated) for several years, I couldn't leave the house without my husband, and was terrified and miserable if he had to travel and I was alone, even though I had the dogs. And I am fairly reclusive, so I knew something was wrong.

How upset I am if left alone is directly related to how my overall mental health is doing. It also upsets me to be alone when I'm physically sick, like when I have a cold. I think that at some level I understand that I'm vulnerable, either mentally or physically, and I instinctively want someone around that I trust.

I have guns too (yee haw for the after-effects of the rural childhood), but they don't make me feel any safer. Guns don't talk. They don't offer opinions about a situation. They're just tools, not a second point of view. What I need when I feel vulnerable is someone else to rely on, someone else keeping watch, not a better means of defending myself when I'm still the one who has to be paying attention.

Besides, deep down, I don't 100% trust myself. Not even when I'm "well."

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I have an invasion robbery phobia,

Where numerous criminals,

bust my door down,ransack my house

while either knocking me out,

or beating on me,or whatever.

I sleep with Sammy,

( for Samuel Colt )

An ancient,but servicable

former police .38 revolver.

I will shoot in that situation ( I'm not that crazy,no "Blue suicide" here.

I do get too tightly wrapped and can't,won't sleep.

I'll read until daylight and maybe I'll sleep,

until the phone rings or etc.

I know this is all head-bullshit.

which helps very little,the symptoms remain,

This all started way back,when the threat was real,

My 600mg of Seroquel doesn't make me sleepy

things that will??

Not on the menu.

After a few days,I'll start sleeping,

with vivid nightmares,take your pick

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I get that, but eventually fall asleep under my covers. Not afraid of the dark, just afraid of someone busting in and beating the shit out of me while I'm sleeping.

I actually keep my room pretty messy a lot of the time so that if anyone breaks in, they'll trip and fall and I'll hear them ahead of time.

Crazy? Probably.

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I am not trying to be stupid, so forgive me if it sounds like I am making light of it, I really am not: I find a noise machine really helps me. It is like an invisible barrier to my bedroom door.

And Tryp, have you been treated for PTSD? I was kind of stunned at what a seemingly minor event triggered it for me, and it wasn't nearly as bad as being mugged.

Unfortunately, while I was actually being treated for it, I was held up a gun point, and that not only set me back, it made it much worse.

Just a thought, because I was really nervous about sleeping during that period.

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Yeah, I've been treated for my PTSD and I'm mostly in remission - just sometimes when I'm stressed in general it busts back out again, and this one thing about sleeping alone seems to remain. It does wax and wane though - when I wrote this, I was going through an especially bad run with it, and it seems to be easing off again now. I guess some things never really leave you.

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yes, yes, and yes.

Lets just say Im afraid of everything and I'll deduct if you or I think of something else. So far therapy has not done anything for these fears.

Seroquel really was the magical drug that let me sleep anywhere anytime by myself or in occupied spaces.

Right now I think its the lithium thats letting me fall asleep.

But when Im by myself - every light is on and I generally don't fall asleep until the sun comes up.


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I hate being home alone.. I sleep with my computer monitor on and let the screensaver go. Or I'll sleep in my moms bed. I have a "comfort blanket" that I sleep with. I feel like things are going to come get me, that the house is going to get broken into, the other night I was afraid there would be a tornado and power outage.

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I kinda broke myself of this one by imagining the worst ever things that could happen and how I'd cope, sorta kinda. It helps. i don't sleep alone often, being married and with a kid, but eh, I can in the rare occasions it happens and I even almost enjoy the silence sometimes.

one time Mr. A was away over summertime and I had a whole weekend to trash the house, act lazy, and just do whatever (WITH a cleaning binge at the end). It was great.


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