How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

In this article, we will answer the following question: How to sleep after seeing a spider?

We know how terrified some of you are of these little creatures, so we are going to talk more about arachnophobia, in order to help you overcome this irrational fear.

How to sleep after seeing a spider?

It is natural to be afraid of spiders, an ancient panic that some studies attribute to the shape of their legs, and how they move.  Arachnophobia is a fairly widespread irrational terror, even among entomologists (the biologists who study insects and spiders). But you have to beat it or ignore it, in our own interest.

Spiders have lived in our homes since the beginning of time. Some are trapped, but there are species, such as cellar spiders or foils, that like to live in our basements, attics, or in any corner without much light.

How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

You should never kill a spider in your home

The next time you see a spider hanging from the ceiling in your room, or you’re tempted to point your vacuum cleaner at its cobwebs, think twice.

Biology tells us that you should never kill a spider in your home. Spiders are beneficial for your home, and for your health.

First of all, spiders are predators that deal with pests and annoying insects like mosquitoes, mealybugs, fleas, etc. They even hunt other spiders. If you have an insect of this type at home, spiders will take care of them, and not only with their cobwebs, as some go out to hunt.

From a health point of view, it is much better to have a couple of spiders at home, than mosquitoes or fleas.

Almost all spiders are poisonous, but very few are powerful enough to pierce the skin, even if they bite us. And certainly not the common spiders. They never attack humans, and they try to avoid us whenever they can. If you come across a spider it is because you have caught it in some displacement, not because it considers you its prey, as if mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects do.

It is not about filling the house with cobwebs, but if you see one or two spiders on the roof of your house, you should not kill them.

If you still can not avoid it, and it is superior to you to see them hanging on the walls, you can always put them in a container and release them on the street or in a garden, since they adapt easily and will soon find a new home.

How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

Spiders “never” attack people spontaneously, and few animals do it “for free”, although it is something that some wasps and bees do if you pass near them. In the case of spiders, something must be done beforehand, otherwise, they will not attack.

Although they very rarely capture small lizards if they get caught in their webs, the usual victims of spiders are insects and other small invertebrates. Hunting techniques are very diverse among spiders. Thus, there are spiders that when an insect falls on its web quietly bite it and wait for it to die, while others have a more powerful poison so that the prey dies soon if it flees.

In the world of spiders there are those that make webs and there are not, although they all have the ability to make silk threads, only some make webs as a trap and many use silk for other purposes. 

There are spiders called vagabonds that scamper and they hunt vermin as they can, while others are sedentary and build cobwebs, which can be of various types, both vertical and horizontal, shapeless three-dimensional tangles under stones.

Males tend to be more striking than females because they have to convince the female to mate and the colouring pattern is one of the distinctive signs they use for it, while what other species do is give away dead prey, in others make certain movements in the cobweb and in other cases tap in a certain way on the ground by drumming.

How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

Arachnophobia: a specific phobia

Arachnophobia is the extreme phobia and/or repulsion towards all arachnids and especially spiders. This disorder is classified as a specific animal-generated phobia. It can generate a high level of discomfort or a certain deterioration in the functionality of the subject.

Among the specific phobias, this is one of the most common and generally tends to be more prevalent in the female sex. As a phobia, it is an intense and disproportionate fear regarding the level of threat that the feared stimulus in question may pose, a disproportion that is recognized as irrational by the person who suffers from it. 

The presence of this causes high levels of anxiety (the fear suffered can lead to an anxiety crisis), which tends to avoid or flee the stimulus at the behavioural level (this is the specific case of arachnophobia, of spiders).

Symptoms of arachnophobia

Symptoms of arachnophobia include nausea, anxiety, sweating, tachycardia, escape behaviours and avoidance or paralysis, anxiety attacks or crying spells, among others, due to the sight or evocation of an arachnid.

In very extreme cases, there may even be perceptual disturbances. Fear can also appear in advance in situations where the insect in question is likely to appear or towards the products of its performance, such as cobwebs.

How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

The treatment of arachnophobia

The therapy that has been shown to obtain the highest success rate in the treatment of arachnophobia is exposure therapy. The exhibition can be in imagination or live, with the second one obtaining the best results. Halfway between one and the other is virtual reality exposure therapy, which is used in cases where exposure can be difficult and/or dangerous, such as aeroplane phobia (aerophobia) or phobia to drive (amaxophobia).

Next, let’s see what exposure therapy consists of, which has shown great efficacy in phobias. Whether for the imagination or live exhibition, the first part of the treatment consists of elaborating a subjective anxiety scale. We will expose situations related to the phobia and we will score them with the SUDs (subjective units of anxiety) giving them a value of 0 to 10 or 0 to 100 and then order them. Let’s see it with an example:

  • Reading the word spider in a book – 20 SUDs
  • Talk to someone about spiders 30 SUDs
  • See a spider in a movie 40 SUDs
  • Go for a walk in the field 60 SUDs
  • Know there is a spider near 75 SUDs
  • See a spider from afar 80 SUDs
  • See a spider a meter from us 95 SUDs
  • Holding a spider in hand 100. SUDs

Once we have our hierarchy complete and ordered (it is recommended that there be many scenes to be able to go little by little), we will start with the exposure. We can do it in imagination with the help of a therapist, or live equally with a therapist or a co-therapist (family, friend …).

We will start with the scene that has the lowest score. When we expose ourselves we will notice anxiety, but we must remain on the scene until the anxiety drops and/or disappears. We will go from scene to scene in the expected order and we will not consider a scene to be over until we notice that our subjective anxiety is reduced to around 20 SUDs.

The treatment ends when we finish the exposure to all the scenes in our hierarchy. The duration will be determined by the patient.

How to sleep after seeing a spider? (Tips)

FAQ on How do I sleep after seeing a spider?

Do spiders really crawl on you at night?

No, spiders do not crawl on you at night. Spiders are more interested in the other insects in your house than in you. They will do their best to avoid you both by night and day. 

How do I stop being paranoid about spiders?

To stop being paranoid about spiders, thus experiencing extreme fear and/or disgust when you see a spider, you can try exposure therapy, different relaxation techniques and CBT. 

Why am I so afraid of spiders?

You are afraid of spiders because you probably had one (or more) negative experiences related to these insects.  We ourselves or someone else we know may have suffered an arthropod bite and this has generated a rejection that has ended up becoming irrational.

We can even associate images that we have not actually experienced but have read or seen on television or in the cinema, with spiders and their potential danger, thus developing the phobia.

Can Arachnophobia be cured?

Yes, Arachnophobia can be cured. The therapy that has been shown to obtain the highest success rate in the treatment of arachnophobia is exposure therapy. The exhibition can be in imagination or live, with the second one obtaining the best results. 

Is Arachnophobia a mental illness?

Arachnophobia is not a mental illness, but it is the intense fear of spiders. This disorder is classified as a specific animal-generated phobia. It can generate a high level of discomfort or a certain deterioration in the functionality of the subject.

Why do I cry when I see a spider?

The reason why you cry when you see a spider is probably fear and the anticipation that something bad is going to happen. When a person suffering from arachnophobia encounters a spider, it is very likely that they will have a situationally predisposed anxiety crisis or panic attack. 

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: How to sleep after seeing a spider?

Remember that it is natural to be afraid of spiders, an ancient panic that some studies attribute to the shape of their legs, and how they move.  Arachnophobia is a fairly widespread irrational terror, even among entomologists (the biologists who study insects and spiders).

In conclusion, if you spotted a spider in your house, the best thing you can do is to leave it be. The spider will not come after you, bite you or crawl on you while you are asleep.

However, if this matter concerns you a lot, it is better to ask for help. Ask someone whom you share the house with to help you get rid of the spider.

Do not harm it! Take an empty glass and a piece of paper or cardboard. Place the glass over the spider and place the piece of paper between the glass and the wall/ceiling. Carefully release the spider outside.  

If you have any questions, comments or tips, please let us know!

Further Reading

Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (New Harbinger Self Help Workbook), by Edmund J. Bourne 

A Practical Guide to Overcoming Phobias: Stand Up to Your Fears (Practical Guide Series), by Patricia Furness-Smith

Phobia Relief: From Fear to Freedom (Building Your Best Series Book 1), by Kalliope Barlis Barlis

Treating Affect Phobia: A Manual for Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, by Leigh McCullough 

Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective, by Aaron Beck 

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.

psycom.net – Arachnophobia: Fear of Spiders and How to Overcome It

Verywellmind.com – Understanding Arachnophobia or the Fear of Spiders

Medicinenet.com -Medical Definition of Arachnophobia

Sciencefocus.com – Is arachnophobia learned or an inbuilt instinct?

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.