Scared of sleep

Some nights when I sleep, I get this (for lack of a better word) nightmare. It’s always the same and behaves a bit like a video game cutscene. Strange how it doesn’t get boring, even after having it for about 2 weeks and then some. Probably a good thing, the day this nightmare becomes anything less than purely terrifying is the day I know something is wrong.

A door in front of me. Past the door a white hallway to the left, the right side is a dead end with a green framed window but there’s nothing outside. There’s fluorescent lights above that give a mildly unsettling feeling. Just before the hallway turns, there’s a fire extinguisher (trust me this becomes plot relevant), pretty much the only other thing I can interact with here. Around the corner I’m locked in, forced to hurt my friends in full color, high quality graphics. I’ll save the details.

I’m afraid that one day I’ll just lose control and hurt (both emotionally and physically) the people around me. I know and dislike that this is somewhat irrational, it’s very hard for a 90% (don’t worry, the other 10% comes from sleep deprivation) functioning person to suddenly snap and lose it completely.

Most nights is now a battle. Me with that fire extinguisher, trying to beat back my fears. Dreams are weird. So far it’s only worked twice, and it leaves me exhausted when I wake up. Sometimes I try different things to get myself past this level of sleep. My most consistent strategy is the speed run. It is what it is, run down the hall, turn the corner, get past it. I feel bad though, I feel bad for my friends for rushing through this, even though none of it is real. It just feels like something I shouldn’t rush, feels too cold.

Some nights I get lucky, I’m tired enough to crash on the bed and fall asleep almost instantly.

I don’t like how my subconscious does this to me, I don’t like how I even have this thought. It does nothing good for me, only makes me afraid to sleep.

Sometimes doing certain things just plane shifts me back to this nightmare, even for only a split second, it’s beginning to affect my performance.


Firstly thank you for coming to us and sharing this situation that is going on for you. I know that this is not easy and it is not fun when a dream is what keeps us from good sleep. I am not at all a professional with dreams and such. But I do deal with nightmares.

So something that is clear to me is that this is your subconscious bringing out of pure fear. It is bringing out how much you do not want to hurt your friends. I am well aware these are not actions you would want to do ever so like believe me that fear of it is what eats at you. I personally have had dreams like this that just builded my fears of things I never want to have happen. Have you tried resetting your mind before sleep. Like for example I have used meditation or finding a new thought prior to falling asleep. This is partly a way I help set myself up for the most success. I have always used something like a fan or sound in my background while I sleep to help aid me in having something that wasnt apart of the nightmare to start with. Perhaps some of these things could help for you.

Thank you for sharing with us what is going on. I am here for you and I really hope soon this goes away/ changes. I am always here if you need to talk.
Hold fast


Welcome to heart support, glad you’re here!
Wow, those intense repetitive dreams are full on. I used to have three or four regularly. One was trying to run away from this house with someone who was trying to hunt me down, and it also felt like a video game as when I was in the clear to start running away, I could only go so far and I was running in place. I would be exhausted and in tears because I knew someone was after me.

Perhaps there’s some anxiety and fears triggering these nightmares, I’m not sure how it all works to be honest. Is there anything that’s been stressing on you?

As Ash has said that maybe trying different routines prior to sleep might help ease your mind. What is your usual routine?

It’s hard when the anxiety of having these nightmares stops us from wanting to sleep causing more anxiety and probably triggering more nightmare fuel. It’s a difficult cycle.

If this keeps persisting I’d probably suggest that even talking to your dr about it could be beneficial.
Some people find scenario replacement helpful. This involves journaling scenarios in your dream and changing the narrative. I personally didn’t find it helpful, but others have. I find I can’t change things in my dreams even when I try really hard and am aware I’m dreaming.
I do find it helpful personally to reduce screen time and if I’ve been watching something that I know might trigger something in a dream, I might spend time cuddling the cats and reading something light before bed.

I do hope this gets easier for you, and I’m sorry that you’re experiencing these dreams.


I’ll try some of these things tonight, hopefully it helps. It worked for you, so perhaps it will work for me as well.


(deleted earlier comment because it didn’t show up as a reply)
To answer your questions, I’m not sure if anything is causing me stress at the moment. It’s probably something I did two Fridays ago that made the feelings stronger recently.

My usual routine is that I talk to my friends, read stuff/reply on HeartSupport, draw or write something, and then sleep. I make an effort not to let my subconscious get any ideas during this time which helps slightly.

I might try this scenario replacement, it might help but I’m not sure how much power I have to change things in a dream.

1 Like

From: Mamadien

8-bit, First welcome to the Heart Support community. We are so glad you are here. I hope that you find that this is a safe place to talk about what is happening in your life. I’m so sorry that you have been having this dream for the past couple of weeks. Repeated dreams can have so many causes, have you considered talking to your family Dr or a counselor about this? The fact that this dream is so disrupting your sleep seems very difficult and getting good solid sleep is so important to our health. The way you write your post indicates that you are a very caring, genuine friend and person who not consider hurting others. So please consider at this point asking for some help from your Dr. or a counselor. You deserve to be free from this nightmare and to get good, healthy sleep. I wish you well and please let us know how you are doing.


From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Welcome to Heartsupport, I am so sorry that you are having these disturbing dreams, they must be very upsetting and make sleep very unsettleing for, you , can I suggest perhaps you speak to a councellor or a doctor if you are very worried about why you think these dreams are occuring and maybe they can give you some ideas of things you could do to stop them. In the meantime try to relax your self when you wake up and remember these are just dreams and nothing more and all is well. Much Love Lisa x



Hi Friend, Welcome to Heart Support and thank you for posting. I’m sorry you’re having nightmares. I have, had a reoccurring nightmare since I was a teenager where I’m being chased by big spiders. When I was 10, I was bit by a black widow and I think the dreams come from that trauma. So, your dreams could be from something that’s happened to you in the past or perhaps stress or worries that you’re having in the present. Those are just two ideas, but nightmares can be caused by a lot of different things and I feel like you would benefit from talk therapy because they will help you figure out what’s going on. Having violent dreams doesn’t mean that you are a violent person as well. I hope you remember that! You matter! ~Mystrose