Paradoxical Insomnia


When people think of sleep disorders they most commonly think of insomnia, a problem characterized by the sufferer not being able to get the kind of sleep he would like. Sometimes the issue may be not falling asleep easily, while other people will wake up before they want to and not be able to get back to sleep.

All in all, insomnia can be quite frustrating especially when the person affected feels tired and sluggish throughout the day due to lack of sufficient sleep. Insomnia can come and go, and sometimes it can be directly related to health issues or issues of stress.

Paradoxical Insomnia is different.

This rare sleep disorder is similar to traditional insomnia in the sense that the person experiencing this disorder does not get sufficient sleep either as a result of not falling asleep on time or waking up before the person is ready. The difference is that Paradoxical Insomnia also has characteristics that make the disorder particularly tough to deal with.

People with this disorder not only have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, but they also may feel as though everything around them is louder and brighter than it actually is.

In other words, not only can they not sleep, but everything in their surroundings is keeping them awake whether they like it or not.

The ticking of the clock seems louder, the light from the button on the phone seems brighter, and all the while they get more and more frustrated that they can’t seem to fall asleep.

Sleep Perceptions Distorted

People with Paradoxical Insomnia may report that they are up all night long when in fact they do get sleep. This rare sleep disorder comes with a distortion in the person’s mind as to how much sleep they are actually getting at night.

While a sufferer may complain of barely getting one or two hours of sleep each night, if a sleep study is conducted it may be discovered that the person is actually getting much more sleep and just isn’t aware of it.

In fact, some people who think they get absolutely no sleep actually do get sleep but they just dream that they are awake. Obviously, this rare sleep disorder can be perplexing and frustrating for people who are affected by it.

Since Paradoxical Insomnia is a rare disorder it is important to get evaluated by a doctor or sleep specialist before accepting it as a diagnosis. There are other sleep disorders which have similar symptoms, so sometimes it may be difficult to make a proper diagnosis.

Once all other disorders have been ruled out and it has been determined that nothing else is causing the sleep problems (such as drugs or medical problems) then a doctor may prescribe medication that will help the person fall asleep and stay asleep.

Many sleep experts also suggest that people learn to retrain their bodies to fall asleep and to stay asleep without drugs, but to instead use behavioral therapy and relaxation exercises. Talk to a doctor to find out what will work best for you.

Last Updated on November 10, 2022