Ever Since I can remember, I have always been afraid of the dark. I never slept alone and I always had a light on. As I grew older I would laugh it off saying that I was a child of the light. I can still feel the fear I would have whenever lights were turned off or there was an electric failure. In the darkness I would see things that inhabited my room. Creatures coming towards me. Once, when I was in the Army, I even felt one of these entities strangling me. I quickly pulled it off me and turned on my flashlight.

As a child, I used to sleep in the Nanny’s room and she would keep her hand on my head all night but that wasn’t enough. Even the Nanny’s presence did not keep the spirits away once the lights went out. It was difficult for me to go on sleepovers or vacations. I had to have some light source.

As an adult my house was probably the only one with the light on all night long. Flashlights and candles were always within reach and the television was always on. I knew this was crazy. At my age I had to find a way to overcome this fear so I wrote down small steps I would take until I was in total darkness. I overcame my fear. Now I can fall asleep in total darkness. Well I can fall asleep with all my lights off. This is how I did it and you can do it too.

First you should start a journal: write down what you are afraid of. What is it about the darkness that terrifies you? This helped me to see that what I feared as a child is not something I should be afraid of now. I had a very vivid imagination back then and sometimes I would see things move, or touch me.

The next thing I did was create an elaborate sleep routine. Put on my pajamas, have warm tea and crackers with cheese, Brush my teeth, get into bed and snuggle deep into my bed sheets. Wiggle around until you find the right place where your body can relax and you can melt into the comfort of a good mattress.

Over time I kept improving on my bed, buying a position bed and practicing moving it up or down until I got just the right elevation. I would also turn on the bed’s vibration to sooth my muscles and. As I discovered, the humming of the vibrator also helped to calm me. So, maybe you can look into your sleeping place and see if maybe some improvement might help.

Write down your own routine and review it, modify it, and try again. Then turn off the brightest light you have on. It’s great to use Alexa so you don’t have to get out of bed. Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. It’s okay to read a chapter or two of a favorite book. Then close your eyes, and relax. 

How was your sleep? Write down your sleep patterns. Each day, use less light until there are no lights at all. You can leave your window slightly opened or your shades slightly cracked so you get a bit of outside light. Oh don’t forget to turn the television off. I had mine on a timer. If I woke up after the TV turned off I would restart it until I was able to wean myself off it. Like I said, small steps. I don’t know how long you have been in fear of darkness but at 76 I was still afraid of being in the dark. Oh, it helps to have a dog, if you have one to cuddle up to. My dog Toby is 17 and I still look for him in the dark when I have a setback. Just know you can’t do it.

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