Sleep deprivation seems to be a common theme in the narcissistic abuse support forums. Of all the many, many ways that a narcissist abuses their victims, depriving their “loved ones” of sleep is one of the most cruel and insidious. Sleep, after all, is as vital to our survival as water and food.
Sleep deprivation causes delirium, high blood pressure, weight gain, memory loss and even psychosis. All conditions which would cause the victims to become more vulnerable, and thus, more pliable and easier to manipulate.
But does the narcissist really know these conditions result, and is so calculating as to intentionally provoke them by preventing their “loved ones” from sleeping, or waking them from sleep?
No doubt some of the most evil among the disordered, do. But I believe in most cases, the narcissist is so self centered as to not even take their victims’ need for sleep into consideration at all. To calculate another person’s needs requires, first, to consider the other person, a PERSON. It is this lack of attention to their victims’ needs that causes the narcissist to deprive their “loved ones” of sleep.
Besides, most of the narcissists I have known throughout my life (and there have been many), all have had issues with sleeping. I believe this is caused from the constant state of anxiety, fear and insecurities relative to the disorder. So as the narcissist is laying awake at night, drowning in self-loathing, worried about being exposed for their fraudulent activities and lies, and projecting all of those despicable qualities onto their “loved one”, the narcissist becomes enraged that the person they blame for failing to protect them from their own actions and resulting emotions, is laying there sleeping.
SO THEY WAKE THEM UP. Victims of narcissistic abuse are often awakened from deep sleep to encounter the rage of a narcissist. And, as with all actions of a narcissist, it has nothing to do with the victim or anything they did while sleeping or before, but rather, the narcissist needed a person to project their late night self loathing rage onto, and who better than their primary source of narcissistic supply? The person sleeping next to them.
If you are living with a narcissist, please know that there is no cure for this disorder. Empathy is not something that can be learned later in life. If you are hoping that the disordered person in your life is going to seek out therapy to learn ways to change their own behavior, it may help temporarily, or they may learn some new techniques for manipulating you. But the narcissist will never, ever learn to view you as a real person (like them), or care how their actions are hurting you. This includes, financial abuse, infidelity, emotional abuse and cruelty of unfathomable forms, including sleep deprivation.
If you are tired of sleeping with one eye open, you need to begin making your plans to escape the narcissist and go complete No Contact.