5 Things That Can Make You Hallucinate While You Sleep and What to Do About Them

5 Things That Can Make You Hallucinate While You Sleep and What to Do About Them

It could be those extra glasses of wine but there could be another trigger in your life, like stress.

Yes, if you eat some magic mushrooms or down an illicit drug, you could likely hallucinate while you sleep.

But some people don’t need to go to extreme lengths to hit the wild side, it all happens naturally.

Why? The American Sleep Association states that up to 25% of the population experiences sleep-related hallucinations with causes ranging from a lack of sleep to being overworked, worried and having medical conditions. The visions are harmless but to the person experiencing them, they can be frightening and a sign that something is else is at play in their life.

Hallucinations are different from dreams as they occur when you’re in the state between waking and sleeping and it’s next to impossible for your mind to distinguish between the visions and reality even once you’re fully awake, which causes confusion.

Check out these 5 things that can make you hallucinate in your sleep, and what to do about them:

1) Stress

Hallucinating while you sleep can be a sign of stress or something more serious, like narcolepsy.

I admit, there are sometimes so many spiders on the ceiling in my dreams that I have to wake my partner to conquer them. It used to frighten him but by now, he just rolls his eyes, laughs and tells me to go back to sleep. It’s old news.

Related: Is Sleeping in On Weekends Bad for Your Health?

I’ve never figured out exactly why it happens. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that experts say hallucinating in your sleep can simply be a sign of stress. Practice relaxation techniques before you go to bed to help to calm your mind, and meditate.

According to the American Sleep Association, studies have shown that the clearer your mind is, the less likely you are to have any kind of visions as you sleep, including regular dreams.

2) Being Female

Hallucinating while you sleep can be a sign of stress or something more serious, like narcolepsy.

Here’s another one that’s hard to avoid, if you fit the description. For an unknown reason, females hallucinate during sleep more than males do. Are we more stressed out? Perhaps. Does it have something to do with our hormones? Maybe. Sorry, no solution for this one.

3) Being a Teenager or a Young Adult

The younger you are, the more likely you are to have hallucinations, experts say. If you do hallucinate while dreaming in your teens and twenties though, the good news is that the visions could likely disappear as you age, on their own.

4) Being an Insomniac

The anxiety that can cause insomnia, and increase if you suffer from the condition, can be a contributing factor when it comes to having sleep related hallucinations. Talk to your doctor about treating your sleeplessness and the visions could go away.

5) Having Narcolepsy

Experts say that a high rate of people who suffer from narcolepsy also hallucinate when sleeping. If you find yourself falling asleep at inconvenient times such as during a conversation, a class or on the job, know that your condition can be treated.

Talk to your doctor about solutions to suit your lifestyle.

Photo credits: agsandrew/Bigstock; agsandrew/Bigstock; GeorgeRudy/Bigstock

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