How to Sleep After Seeing a Spider? (7 Tips)

In this brief guide, we will look at how to sleep after seeing a spider, as well as other related questions like what to do when you can’t sleep due to a fear of spiders and how long a spider will stay in your room. We will also briefly discuss the fear of spiders, Arachnophobia.

How to Sleep After Seeing a Spider? 

To sleep after seeing a spider, you may try some relaxation techniques and some visualization that involves imagining calm things that are as unrelated to the spiders as possible.

You may also find it easier to sleep after seeing a spider in your room if you listen to some guided meditation podcasts that are easily available everywhere, and you can try to relax and drift off to sleep without trying too hard.

If you have seen a spider in your room and now you are not able to sleep because you are afraid of spiders, you can also try to get in control of the situation, try to get back in a position where you feel safe; you may do this by cleaning a little, making sure that your bed is clear and your bedding is untouched by the six-legged friend.

You can also get out of bed and look around the room, especially in corners, and either you will see the spider, in which case you can capture it and take it out, or you can kill it (although there is really no need to), or you won’t see it, in which case you can be sure that it has retired for the night, and so can you.

If you feel that the spider has run inside the bed or has hidden away in some corner, then you don’t need to worry about it, because spiders hide when they don’t want to come out, which means that you won’t be seeing it anytime soon, and now that it knows where you are resting, it will avoid that place itself.

If after all the things mentioned above, you are still wondering about how to sleep after seeing a spider, or you just tried all the above and it didn’t help, then you should consider the very real possibility that you have a quite severe fear of spiders, Arachnophobia, and you should consider getting treatment.

Can’t Sleep due to Fear of Spiders? You may have Arachnophobia

If you can’t sleep because of your fear of spiders, then the chances that you have Arachnophobia are quite high, because the kind of panic and fear, and anxiety, that keeps people from sleeping because they are afraid of spiders, is quite symptomatic of arachnophobia.

Arachnophobia is an irrational fear of spiders that may be a result of some adverse interaction with a spider, at some point in life, or it may arise out of just a general fear of spiders, which may have no basis.

The main feature of arachnophobia, or any phobia, for that matter, is that it is irrational, and it may often occur even in the absence of the object that incites fear, and even though the object cannot hurt the individual, the person may find it hard to not be afraid of it.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual gives the following criteria for Phobia:

  • “Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood).
  • Note: In children, the fear or anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging.
  • The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety.
  • The phobic object or situation is actively avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.
  • The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation and to the sociocultural context.
  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for 6 months or more.
  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, including fear, anxiety, and avoidance of situations associated with panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating symptoms (as in agoraphobia); objects or situations related to obsessions (as in obsessive-compulsive disorder); reminders of traumatic events (as in post traumatic stress disorder); separation from home or attachment figures (as in separation anxiety disorder); or social situations (as in social anxiety disorder).”

For clinical purposes, the code for a Specific Phobia of animals or insects, like spiders, in the DSM 5 is 300.29.

What to do about a fear of spiders?

There are various treatments for phobias, and they apply just as well to a fear of spiders, and they mainly include behavioral therapy techniques like the following:

  • Flooding.
  • Systematic desensitization.
  • Relaxation techniques

Behavioral therapy is based on Pavlov and Skinner’s theories of learning, and most experts agree that Phobic reactions like Arachnophobia are often a result of faulty learning, and they can therefore be corrected by correcting that learning.

Behavior therapy is typically a short duration therapy; therapists are easy to train and it is usually cost-effective. The total duration of therapy is usually 6-8 weeks. Initial sessions are scheduled daily but the later sessions are more spaced out.

A behavioral analysis is usually carried out before planning behavior therapy. One of the simplest methods of behavior analysis is called as ABC charting, which involves a close look at the:

  • Antecedent (e.g. circumstances under which the behavior began; who, if any, were present; other details),
  • Behavior (description of the behavior in detail), and
  • Consequence (what happened afterwards; what factors helped to maintain behavior).

The specific methods to treat Arachnophobia are given below.

Systematic Desensitization

Systematic desensitization (SD) is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, described by John Wolpe.

The principle states that if a response incompatible with anxiety is made to occur at the same time as an anxiety-provoking stimulus, anxiety is reduced by reciprocal inhibition.

This consists of three main steps:

  • Relaxation training
  • Hierarchy construction: Here the patient is asked to list all the conditions which provokes anxiety. Then, he is asked to list them in descending order of anxiety provocation. 

Systematic desensitization can be in imagery or in reality, which is known as in vivo.

At first, the lowest item in hierarchy is confronted (in reality or in imagery). The patient is advised to signal whenever anxiety occurs. 

With each signal, he is asked to relax. After a few trials, the patient is able to control his anxiety. 

Thus, gradually the hierarchy is climbed till the maximum anxiety provoking stimuli can be faced in the absence of anxiety.

Flooding 

This is usually the method used in the treatment of phobias, and in this technique, the person is directly exposed to the phobic stimulus, but escape is made impossible. 

By Prolonged contact with the phobic stimulus, therapist’s guidance and encouragement, and therapist’s modelling behavior, anxiety decreases and the phobic behavior diminishes.

Relaxation Therapies

The aim of these therapies is to induce muscular relaxation. Since anxiety produces muscular tension, which in turn reinforces (and thus increases) anxiety, any relaxation technique would decrease both anxiety and muscular tension. 

Relaxation techniques are an integral part of a majority of behavior therapies, such as systematic desensitization. 

There are many methods which can be used to induce relaxation and these include:

  • Jacobson Progressive Muscle Relaxation (JPMR)
  • Hypnosis
  • Abdominal Breathing
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Yoga

How long will a spider stay in your room?

The spider likely won’t stay in your room for too long, as they are incredibly scared of humans as well, and they may find their way to your home by accident but once they realize that you live there, they will certainly find their way out.

If you are concerned about how long a spider will stay in your room, you can also try to ensure that it goes out as soon as possible, but cleaning out your room and making sure it stays clean.

How to keep spiders away when sleeping?

To keep spiders away when you are sleeping, you may do the following things:

  • Use essential oils with a dispenser in the room
  • Spray the corners with vinegar and water mixture
  • Use a net around your bed (can be found online easily)
  • Try to sleep in a well-ventilated area
  • Try to keep the windows shut or put screens on them
  • Keep your room and house clean
  • Don’t store too much stuff under the bed.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at how to sleep after seeing a spider, as well as other related questions like what to do when you can’t sleep due to a fear of spiders and how long a spider will stay in your room. We also briefly discussed the fear of spiders, Arachnophobia.

If you have just seen a spider in your room and you cannot sleep because you are afraid, you should know that the spider in your room is most likely not poisonous and will not harm you in any significant way.

Most people find it hard to sleep after seeing a spider (or a mouse) because they may be scared about the spider landing on them when they are asleep and them not having any control over it.

To deal with this fear one must ensure that they relax completely before going to sleep else they will probably not be experiencing good sleep anyway.

You need to also explore the possibility of you having an irrational fear or phobia of spiders, called Arachnophobia, and you should probably look into getting treatment for it if it affects you so intensely.

If you have any questions similar to “How to sleep after seeing a spider?”, please feel free to reach out to us.

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

How do you keep spiders out of your sleep?

To keep the spiders out of your sleep, you may use the following things:

Essential oils: Oils like Eucalyptus and peppermint seem to keep the spiders away
Vinegar: Vinegar can also help keep the spiders away
Make sure you always clean up after yourself because the spiders won’t be attracted to slean spaces
Make screens for your windows and gand them up so outside spiders can’t come in. 
Tidy up outside your house as well, remove weeds and brambles
Tidy your room. 
Fill up the cracks and gaps in your walls or furniture.
Eat more oranges.

Should I leave a spider in my room?

Yes, you should leave a spider in your room, because it does not care about you and does not want to have anything to do with you, so it won’t hurt you at all.

Most people have spiders in their home without knowing it because they are just bugs, and they stay out of your way most of the time.

However, if you are so scared of the spider in your home that you can’t seem to focus on anything, try to capture it or get someone else to do it, and leave it outside, instead of killing it for no reason.

How do I stop being scared of spiders?

To stop being scared of spiders you can try counseling and medication, as these are most commonly used in the treatment of phobias.

The most often used technique in the may be used to treat arachnophobia is exposure therapy or systematic desensitization, and they may often be used in conjunction with Relaxation techniques such as meditation.

Another type of treatment that may be used to help you with being scared of spiders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Why are there big spiders in my room?

There may be big spiders in your room because there may have recently been a weather change that has driven them out of their crevices, or they may have found their way in your home purely by accident in some old boxes or belongings.

Sometimes big spiders may also be in your room because they have made it their way there to find mates.

What kills spiders instantly?

Vinegar kills spiders instantly, and they may die when they are sprayed with equal parts white vinegar and water, because vinegar contains acetic acid, and this burns the spider upon contact.

However, you don’t need to kill the spiders that you see in and around your house, as they don’t do anything to you, and they are not poisonous or harmful, and in most cases they will mind their own business.

Citations

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5)

https://www.psycom.net/arachnophobia-fear-of-spiders

https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2013/aug/08/afraid-spiders-sleep-phobias

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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