fear of sleep (somniphobia)

Hi, I am an 18 year old female who has been scared to fall asleep ever since I can remember... maybe age four or five. To this day, I have intense fear of sleep (and trouble falling asleep).

In the last year, I have begun experiencing night paralysis. This is a terrifying phenomenon in which I am actually awake for about 30 seconds (upon coming out of a dream) and am unable to move any of my muscles or scream. Out of the three times this has happened to me, I have twice felt as though there was an evil presence watching me; and in my first and most extreme case, felt as though a malevolent force was punching me all over my body.

While the night paralysis has made me even more afraid to go to sleep, I believe my somniphobia actually fuels the night paralysis (acting as a stressor which causes the problem). Therefore, I feel as though this is a never-ending cycle.

I am aware of the causes of the night paralysis... I lead a high-stress lifestyle which has recently become a lot more stressful. As a college student, I also have no set sleep schedule whatsoever, which is also a possible cause for the night paralysis.

Maybe someone can identify with my problem... I know it is not particularly common, but I'd like to talk to someone who deals with their own night paralysis/somniphobia in an effective way.

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