Kenya Foy
September 27, 2017 12:34 pm
Simon Launay / Unsplash

You might not find a lot of grownups willing to admit this, but studies show that approximately 40 percent of adults are still afraid of the dark. The familiar paralyzing fear that plagued most of us during childhood still lingers in the psyches of those who suffer from nyctophobia, or the fear of darkness or night.

Interestingly enough, experts point out that many people who have an extreme aversion to darkness don’t actually fear the dark itself — instead they’re terrified or what may or may not be concealed by the absence of light.

As HuffPost reports, psychotherapist Phillip Hodson explained that a phobia of the dark that continues into adulthood (also known as achluophobia, scotophobia or lygophobia) is oftentimes connected to a traumatic childhood experience.

via giphy

Another aspect of nyctophobia that separates it from other more straight-forward irrational fears (such as a fear of clowns or fear of the outdoors) is that people often mistake it for something else.

Dr. Colleen Carney, assistant professor of psychology at Ryerson University, described the distinction between nyctophobia and other fears to TIME:

So not only does nyctophobia cause you to panic at the thought of being in total darkness (or who or what may be lying in wait to harm you), but the person who suffers from it may not even realize exactly what they’re afraid of? If we were going to rank phobias, this has to be one of the most confusing ones to live with.

If the mere thought of turning out the lights causes you to freak out, here are some videos to help calm your nyctophobia the hell down.

1ASMR video for children who fear the dark.

Your parents may not be around to read you a bedtime story, but the terrified inner child that lives inside of adult nyctophobes may still find some relief in this ASMR video of a woman speaking in a calming whispered tone to help soothe kids who are afraid of the dark.

2Binaural beats

While it definitely shouldn’t be used as a substitute for professional help, the binaural beats contained in this 58-minute long video are meant to induce a similarly relaxed state as meditation.

3Hypnosis for fear of overcoming darkness

Here’s a 27-minute hypnosis session specifically created to ease your nyctophobia. Honestly, we started to relax only a few minutes into it.

4This video from someone who overcame the fear of darkness

This video is narrated by a reformed nyctophobe who describes how she ultimately conquered her fear, including practical tips that will encourage you to reframe the way you view darkness.

5Hypnosis for general phobias.

Based on the comments alone (and this guy’s incredibly soothing speaking voice), this hour-long hypnosis video is effective at helping you calm down and maybe eventually get rid of your phobia altogether.

6ASMR for nigthmares, PTSD and anxiety.

For those nights that you feel extremely unsafe and anxious about what scary thing is lurking in the darkness, this ASMR video is designed to help you achieve maximum night-time comfort just in case your nightlight simply isn’t cutting it.

7Calming music to ease phobias.

This hour-long blend of instrumental music and nature sounds is intended to treat all fears and phobias, but hopefully listening to birds singing and pleasant melodies will help those who fear the dark to redirect their focus away from their anxieties.

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