Some adults struggling to sleep at night might need to face their fear of the dark before getting a good night's sleep.
According to researchers at the Ryerson University Sleep and Depression Lab in Toronto, Canada some adults who have trouble sleeping might be afraid of the dark.
They had 93 college students fill out surveys. The study found 50 percent of adults who reported sleep problems also said they had a fear of the dark. They also said they were more anxious when the lights were off.
Researchers also used loud noises to measure blink responses among a group of college students in both the light and dark. Their study showed good sleepers got used to the loud noises, while those who had trouble sleeping were more easily startled and even began expecting the loud noises when it was dark.
Ryerson University researchers said because fear of the dark is not something doctors look for, their study could help create new treatment methods for patients.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.