Generally speaking, the darker your bedroom the easier it should be for you to fall asleep. Unfortunately, this isn't very helpful if you're afraid of the dark.
According to research out of Canada, nearly half of participants in a sleep study who reported poor sleep also claimed a fear of the dark. Fewer than 20% of those who slept well reported the same fear.
The study's lead author argues that bad sleepers become more tense when the lights go out since they're associating their beds with the frustration of insomnia and being unable to sleep. This leads to a form of hyperarousal.
This research is particularly interesting since we have yet another link between insomnia and hyperarousal - which suggests that for some, treating an underlying fear or phobia could be an effective cure for their insomnia.
It also goes to show that what may help one person sleep (for example, a dark room) won't necessarily help another. This explains why there isn't (and there is unlikely to ever be) a universal insomnia cure.
Last updated: June 22, 2012