Medical Definition of Clinophobia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Clinophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of going to bed. Sufferers from clinophobia experience anxiety even though they realize that going to bed normally should not threaten their well-being. However, because they worry about having nightmares or wetting the bed, they often remain awake and develop insomnia. Insomnia then can become a real threat to their well-being.

"Clinophobia" is derived from the Greek "klinein" (to bend, slope or incline, as one does during sleep) and "phobos" (fear). Another medical term containing "clino-"is "clinodactyly" meaning a finger that is curved to the side.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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