Sleep and Fear Extinction in Phobia Treatment

Exposure therapy is a  form of treatment which is often used for people who have a phobia. Exposure therapy works by gradually making the phobic person feel less anxious around the cause of fear. The treatment has effectively helped people with phobias related to spiders, flying, and driving.

The Journal of Psychiatric Research published a study showing that sleep enhances the effects of exposure therapy. Researchers showed a video of spiders to a group of participants with arachnophobia (safely ‘exposing’ them to their fear). Some participants saw the video at night then went to sleep while others watched it during the day. The specialists found that the participants who slept after seeing the anxiety-inducing video clip showed less fear and anxiety in response to spiders.

To learn more about exposure therapy and phobia treatment, click the link below.

Giving phobias a rest: Research suggests key role for sleep in treating … – Medical Xpress