How to Sleep After Seeing a Horror Movie? (7 Tips)

In this brief guide, we will discuss a few tips on how to sleep after seeing a horror movie, as well as other things like sleep anxiety, phasmophobia, and other phenomena associated with sleep and being scared.

How to Sleep After Seeing a Horror Movie?

To sleep after seeing a horror movie, you need to first remind yourself that what you just saw was fictitious and it does not have the potential to hurt you in any way. 

You can close your eyes and remind yourself that no matter how realistic it may have appeared monsters, vampires, zombies, demons or evil spirits and ghosts just don’t exist, and you are not in trouble.

In fact, to make sure you are able to sleep after seeing a horror movie, you can also try to read about all the instances where ghost stories have been debunked, which you may find in articles or shows like Buzzfeed Unsolved, and you will see that despite the music and ambience that is designed to scare you, there is nothing, and there is no reality there for you to be scared of.

To remind yourself of the fact that it is all fake and to sleep after watching a horror movie, it may also help you to go to YouTube and check to see if there are special behind the scenes that have the actors talking like normal people and describing how they made the movie.

Try to find something where the actors who went through the horrible things in the movie are laughing and joking with each other (preferably with the monster or ghost if there was one), because laughter and humor instills a sense of deep comfort in our minds.

To sleep after seeing a horror movie that has left you a little shook up, watch something really funny so that you have the opportunity to laugh off the nervous energy and redirect your spirits towards something more positive so you can sleep.

Watching something totally silly for a few minutes will make things a bit less intense and you’ll be able to shake the film’s effects off.

You can also try to Meditate when intellectualizing the situation is not helping anymore, and you are just not able to relax yourself.

Wiping your mind with meditation and trying to think about nothing, and pushing away scary memories from the film can really help to sleep after watching a horror movie.

You can also try to do something mindless, so that your mind falls into familiar patterns of repetition and is able to come out of the ruminative pattern it is currently stuck in because of the horror movie.

If you watch horror movies often, or if you generally find that you are not able to sleep fairly frequently, take up something like knitting, the repetitive patterns are nice to keep your mind occupied.

Additionally, the constant motion of knitting can make your hands hurt just enough after a while that you feel like relaxing and sleep might become slightly easier like this; plus you will be left with a comfortable and warm piece of clothing or throw once you are done, for the next time you are scared.

To do something mindless you can also browse for random things on your computer or play a silly game or do some online shopping, but make sure that the stakes are low and the mood light so that your focus is on something really mellow.

If you are getting too scared after seeing the horror movie and you are just not able to sleep, you can also call a friend that you know will be awake, and reminisce about some old times and happy memories, this can be an instance mood changer.

The last tip is to get some exercise, even though typically it is not recommended to exercise before you are meant to go to bed, sometimes it can help, especially when your body is in a state of anxiety or fear which has no real world basis.

When your body is in a state of anticipatory anxiety, working out might help get rid of excess energy that is not going anywhere, and this can help you feel better.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Sleep Anxiety

Sleep anxiety is a type of performance anxiety, which in turn is included under the specific anxiety disorders, which are a class of anxiety disorders that occur only in certain situations and the person is fine otherwise.

A common example of specific anxiety is examination anxiety, which far too many students are familiar with without knowing that they have a mental health issue.

In sleep anxiety the person may be concerned about getting sleep so badly that they may have trouble actually falling asleep, and the anxiety of not being able to function the next day may sometimes get too much for some people to deal with, and they may end up staying wide awake.

While being scared to sleep after seeing a horror movie is not necessarily a symptom of sleep anxiety, some people who already suffer from sleep anxiety and have trouble going to bed may sometimes have trouble sleeping after seeing a horror movie.


Another possible reason apart from Sleep Anxiety that may keep people from sleeping after seeing a horror movie is Phasmophobia, or a fear of ghosts, and though someone with Phasmophobia will usually not even watch the movie to begin with, if they do watch it for some reason they may find that they are too anxious to sleep afterwards.

Phasmophobia is a type of specific phobia, that is, the fear and anxiety only happen in a given situation.

The symptoms of specific phobia or specific situation related anxiety according to the ICD 10 is as follows:

“These are phobias restricted to highly specific situations such as proximity to particular animals, heights, thunder, darkness, flying, closed spaces, urinating or defecating in public toilets, eating certain foods, dentistry, the sight of blood or physical damage, and the fear of exposure to specific diseases. 

Although the triggering situation is discrete, contact with it can evoke panic as in agoraphobia or social phobias. Specific phobias usually arise in childhood or early adult life and can persist for decades if they remain untreated. 

The seriousness of the resulting handicap depends on how easy it is for the sufferer to avoid the phobic situation. Fear of the phobic situation tends not to fluctuate, in contrast to agoraphobia. Radiation Sickness and venereal infections and, more recently, AIDS are common subjects of disease phobias.

  • The psychological or autonomic symptoms must be primary manifestations of anxiety, and not secondary to other symptoms such as delusion or obsessional thought;
  • The anxiety must be restricted to the presence of the particular phobic object or situation; and
  • The phobic situation is avoided whenever possible.”

Why Am I Not Scared of Horror Movies?

You might not be scared of horror movies because some people do not have a fear experience as developed as other individuals, or it may be that you particularly enjoy the experience of adrenaline, the way some people enjoy extreme sports.

Some people are very scared of watching horror movies and may shiver at the very thought, and while those may be something like highly sensitive people, there are some that may sit through the movie stoically, not caring that they are watching monsters and ghosts.

The reason for this may be that you learned as a child that fear responses don’t help you, or maybe you didn’t experience as many problematic situations as one might need to learn the necessary behavior that you need to be scared of noxious stimuli.

Can’t Sleep After Watching a Scary Movie: Reddit Tips

Here are some of the best Reddit tips for when you can’t sleep after watching a scary movie:

“LPT: If you can’t sleep after watching a scary movie, don’t watch a scary movie right before you try to sleep.”

“LPT: If you can’t sleep after watching a scary movie, watch the movie’s bloopers.”

“Usually watch old family guy episodes since they always seem to be on. That or American dad. Nice palette cleanser”

“I find the opposite true. Scary movies make me sleep easier. I guess it is the feeling of not being alone, and heightened senses make me feel safer.

Your lpt sounds if you can’t sleep after the movie.”

“I also play music professionally and being on stage playing, esp singing, was just frightening for me. I kept trying to picture someone actually like yelling at my face saying “YOU SUCK!!!” and everyone laughing – -but it never even came close to happening. Then I would picture waking up the next day, having to go to work or something mundane – and thinking ” I wish I would’ve done ‘that’ last night” – meaning really nailed a certain song or lick. Well, I couldn’t because I was too worried about being on stage – which then brings me back to the current moment, scared to play – and it usually pops that worry-bubble. I go “either way, I’m still going to bed tonight wishing I made more of the event”.”


In this brief guide, we discussed a few tips on how to sleep after seeing a horror movie, as well as other things like sleep anxiety, phasmophobia, and other phenomena associated with sleep and being scared.

Watching horror movies is incredibly fun, and it is a nice alternative for extreme sports that are meant to get your adrenaline going, particularly if you want to experience the adrenaline rush without getting out of the comfort zone of your bed.

Horror movies serve to engage our minds in a way that real-life just couldn’t even if it tried, thankfully, because some premises in horror movies are simply too nerve-wracking to deal with in real-life.

However, if you are one of those people that watches a horror movie through the narrow slits of their fingers, you might have trouble sleeping after watching one, in which case the tips in this article should help you out.

If you still can’t sleep and have questions or comments about how to sleep after watching a horror movie, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to sleep after seeing a horror movie?

Is it bad to watch horror movies before bed?

If the content of horror movies doesn’t bother you but you’re still experiencing insomnia, it might not be the best idea to watch something scary right before bed. That’s because all that suspense can increase physiological arousal in your body — the opposite of what helps you feel sleepy, Lindgren says.

How do you get rid of scary thoughts before bed?

Here is how to get rid of scary thoughts before bed:

Think about meaningless lists and think of something repetitive.
Decide to stay up and fight to stay awake. 
Get up and start doing something extremely mundane. 
Write a journal entry about whatever is scaring you
Try deep breathing. 

How do you sleep when you are scared?

To sleep when you are scared you need to fix your thoughts and try to turn down your emotions, which can be done by either replacing those emotions with more positive ones or being distracted from them.

You can try some of these tips to sleep when you are scared:

Go to bed at the same time every night and try to get up at the same time.
Don’t exercise two hours before bed.
Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
Don’t consume any caffeine in the four to five hours before bed.
Don’t nap during the day.