Pippa28: Have you tried sleeping with some light on in the room? Like one of those natural light producing lamps.
If the lack of light is a major component then introducing some natural light might help.
You might also want to consider talking to a therapist because the underlying cause of your insomnia seems to be anxiety that you do not fully understand. Even though adults don’t like to admit to it a fear of the dark as an adult is certainly not unheard of and there is usually some starting place for it that can be traced back to childhood where many of our phobias are formed.
You mentioned a connection to your Grandfather passing away, was he someone who made you feel safe?
I was raised almost entirely by my Great-Grandparents and until I met my partner, no one else has ever made me feel as safe as my Grandfather did, so when he died it felt like my safety net had been pulled out from underneath me. The long-term affects of losing someone that means so much to you can be far reaching and we do not all grieve the same way, the ability to really move forward varies from person to person.
Part of me wonders if you are asking about this on a forum because you feel like you can’t talk to friends and family about it IRL and I wonder if it might be that vibe I’ve gotten from people before that I “should” be fully over their deaths by now. Or even worse the brush off of feelings based on how close of a blood relative they were. Like someone being your grandparent instead of a parent means you aren’t allowed to feel as sad for as long a period of time.
Oh and to answer the topic question, yes, I have had insomnia since I was 12 and mine is most definitely related to anxiety over feeling safe when asleep. Finding the root cause of it did help a lot, but it was not a fix all, but talking through the issues I believe is what has allowed me to go from averaging 4 hours a night to 6.5.
I did not realize just how much it was based on feeling safe until I met my partner once we started sleeping together, I mean with actual sleeping 😀 I was shocked to discover that I sleep like a “normal” person 90% of the time when we are together.
I would also be interested to know if when you do sleep do you often have nightmares? If so, do you think they contribute to not being able to sleep when it is dark?