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What keeps you awake at night?

Categories: Health

dark-fear-cp-120610-480.jpgNew Canadian research suggests fear of the dark may be behind the sleepless nights that some insomniacs experience (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Stories of monsters under your bed have probably worn thin by now, but their dark domain might still be a problem for many who have trouble sleeping.

New Canadian research suggests that fear of the dark may be behind sleeplessness for some insomniacs.
The research so far suggests that fear of the dark, or achluophobia, is a treatable condition, said the study's senior author Colleen Carney, director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Researchers designed a test to see how noises affected sleepers in the dark or with a nearby light turned on. Participants wore headphones; at random intervals, a noise was blared through the headphones and the researchers recorded whether the subjects were visibly startled by the noise.

"In the dark, the poorer sleepers were more startled by it. And they became increasingly scared as the experiment went on," Carney explained.

While the dark may be an unexpected cause for insomnia, it certainly isn't the only reason. Money worries and other stresses, an irregular sleeping schedule or the lack of a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual can whittle away our required hours of shut-eye.

What keeps you up at night, if anything? If you suffer from insomnia, how do you cope with it? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Health, POV

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