How To Sleep With Your Eyes Open? Helpful Tips To Remember Update 06/2024

Have you ever wished that you could nap quietly at a boring meeting or on the bus without anyone noticing? This is doable, as it turns out.

There is a real phenomena of dozing off with your eyes open. Others, though, may unwittingly and accidentally rest in this manner, even if they are curious about how to do it for those times when you want to appear awake.

Read this article to learn the secrets to sleeping with your eyes wide open. Furthermore, the various causes and outcomes of this condition will be discussed.

Why Do We Sleep with Our eyes Closed?

We typically rest with our eyes closed, but have you ever considered why that is? First, because we may avoid glare by shielding our eyes from the outside world. Light, whether natural or artificial, has the dual negative effects of keeping us from falling asleep and stimulating our brain into thinking it should be awake. Another major factor in why we close our eyes at night is to keep them moist and safe from potential damage. The eyelids guard the eyes from foreign objects that could cause irritation or damage and prevent the eyes from drying out.
Lagophthalmos - Wikipedia

Can Humans Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

The inability to close one’s eyes during sleep is medically referred to as nocturnal lagophthalmos. Many individuals probably don’t realize they do this until someone else brings it out. Cleveland Clinic states that weakened facial nerves or muscles are the typical cause of nocturnal lagophthalmos.


In the event of a ruptured or blocked brain blood vessel, oxygen and nutrients are denied to the brain. This raises the risk that the individual will suffer a stroke. Irreversible nerve cell damage is one of the many potentially disastrous outcomes of a stroke. Hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes are the two most common types of brain attacks. Unlike a stroke, in which brain cells are permanently damaged, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) causes only temporary impairment.

Bell’s Palsy

Facial paralysis or weakness can occur suddenly in people with Bell’s palsy. Injury to the seventh cranial nerve can lead to these episodes, which can persist up to two days. Pregnant women and those with diabetes, the flu, a cold, or an upper respiratory ailment are at a higher risk for developing Bell’s palsy.


A blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, might make it difficult to close one’s eyelids during sleep. This is a cosmetic technique commonly used to tighten skin around the eyelids. Some people get it done to look younger, while others actually need it because their vision has been impaired by sagging skin. The inability to completely close one’s eyelids is a potential concern.

Neuromuscular Diseases

The prevalence of neuromuscular illnesses is estimated to impact 1.5 million Americans annually. Movement impairments, particularly the inability to close one’s eyes, are common in people with nerve diseases.

Head or Facial Trauma or Injury

A severe head or facial injury may also lead to lagophthalmos at night. Protect your noggin from serious injury by always donning a helmet when you hop on your bike or take the field for a game of football. Important safety practices while driving include always using a seatbelt, never sending or reading texts while driving, and never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


When the thyroid produces an excessive amount of hormones, a condition known as hyperthyroidism occurs. Muscle weakness is just one of the many symptoms of hyperthyroidism; other symptoms include a racing heart, an increased desire to eat, trembling, a drop in body weight, diarrhea, and even hair loss.

Using Alcohol or Sleeping Pills

Consuming alcohol or sleeping medication might also make it hard to fall asleep. It may be helpful to reduce your alcohol consumption in this scenario. See your doctor about a solution to the problem of nocturnal lagophthalmos if you are taking a prescription sleep aid.


Parasomnias include acts like sleepwalking and chatting while you’re asleep. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that a person suffering from parasomnia may be awake with their eyes open. However, during an episode of parasomnia, it is common for the eyes to remain open for the duration of the condition rather than through the night.
Is It Normal to Sleep With Your Eyes Open? - Terry Cralle

How to Sleep with Your Eyes Open

If you need a quick nap but don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself, trying falling asleep with your eyes wide or half-open. Those who are interested in putting this theory to the test might use the following method to learn how to sleep with their eyes open.

Let Yourself Relax

You should keep your eyes open, but otherwise untense. Starting at your toes, carefully go up to your head and neck.

Breathe Normally

Mind your breathing. Do some deep breathing in and out of your nose. To maximize the impact, pause for at least one second.

Focus on One Spot

Concentrate your eyes on one point in the room or far away if you’re outside. The key to a successful staring session is a motionless target. Avoid anything too bright, as it may interfere with your ability to focus.

Let Your Thoughts Wander

Overall, you want to be able to think more clearly. So, to start, give yourself permission to fantasize about something pleasurable, like a trip you took recently or one you hope to take soon. Slowly let your mind wander until you’re asleep, undetected by anyone.

Other Techniques

Napping without Being Noticed

If you don’t have time to learn how to nap without closing your eyes, you may always just try to take a conventional nap in public. Find a quiet, out-of-the-way area to slumber first, such a cubicle, car, closet, or even the bathroom. If you are in a crowded room and there is nowhere to hide, try to find a seat at the far back.To hide your eyelids that are closed, put on a pair of sunglasses. They can also assist create a dark environment, which can aid in falling asleep.

Don’t slouch; instead, take advantage of any available desk or table and sit up straight. Put your bent elbow on the flat surface to support your chin with your hand. You will appear alert and engaged.

Meditating with Your Eyes Open

While it is more common to meditate with closed eyes, practicing with open eyes can help you master both methods of falling asleep. Get started in a calm, dark room. Take a seat, either on the floor or in a chair. Don’t get too comfortable, though.Pay attention to two things at once. Look at something on the far left side of the room with your left eye, and then switch to the far right side with your right eye.

The next step is to focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Try open-eye meditation in a public setting once you’re used to doing it at home.

Practice Lucid Dreaming

When a dreamer is conscious of their dream state, they are said to be lucid. There is no foolproof method for ensuring a lucid dream, but the following guidelines can help. In other words, sow the seed. It turns out that learning more about the possibility of lucid dreaming can trigger the experience. So, before you turn in for the night, pick up a book and read a few pages on the subject.Get a good night’s rest. During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, people can have lucid dreams. In order for the body to achieve this state, it requires significant amounts of sleep.

Write down your dreams. Remember your dreams as soon as you wake up and record them in detail. Keep the journal beside your bed so that first thing in the morning you can get some writing done.

Declare to yourself that you intend to have lucid dreams, and you will. Another option is to use a lucid dreaming app that will chime or buzz to let you know when you’re starting to drift off to sleep. As time goes on, that noise will become associated in your mind with dreaming.

Possible Side Effects

While a catnap with your eyes open may make you feel refreshed, it may also have some unwanted side effects. As a result, this is not an optimal approach to sleep on a consistent basis. This is not a good sleeping position since it inhibits the eyelids from closing and protecting the eyes from dryness. The Cleveland Clinic has issued a warning that you may feel dryness, inflammation, redness, impaired vision, and sensitivity to light as a result.

When To Talk to Your Doctor

It can be challenging to make a self-diagnosis of nocturnal lagophthalmos. Small eyelid holes may be hidden by eyelashes and undiscovered even if someone else is watching you sleep.

Dry eye that is worse in the morning is one of the many eye symptoms that can be helped by seeing a specialist for specialized testing. The health of your eyes and your ability to get a good night’s sleep are both at risk if nocturnal lagophthalmos isn’t addressed. Your chances of getting the restful sleep you need will improve if you see a doctor and obtain a good diagnosis.


Is sleeping with your eyes wide open safe?

Eye dryness and discomfort are only two of the many negative consequences of sleeping with the eyes open. If you suffer from dry eyes, you should probably avoid sleeping in this position. However, people sometimes sleep with their eyes open on purpose, which can also cause problems. If this sounds like you, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can determine the source of your nocturnal lagophthalmos and provide a course of treatment.

Can you achieve a deep sleep while doing it?

While it’s possible to nod off with your eyes open, it’s far more difficult to enter a restful slumber because of the increased likelihood of interruptions. Additionally, the literature stresses the link between nocturnal lagophthalmos and insufficient sleep quality. Therefore, it is likely harmful to your health to rest in this position frequently.
Can You Sleep With Contacts In? | Sleep Foundation

How do you treat nocturnal lagophthalmos?

The Cleveland Clinic suggests a number of treatments for people who have trouble voluntarily closing their eyelids during sleep. However, you should talk to a medical professional before trying any of these at home. Use of eyelid tape is the first technique. Use a little piece of first-aid tape to tape your eyelids close before bed.When it comes to therapy options, eyelid weights are next on the list. Tiny enough to be taped to your eyelids overnight, these weights can help you get a better night’s sleep. The extra load can make it less taxing to keep one’s eyes shut.

Patients have the option of undergoing oil gland therapy, which can restore normal tear production. Gel drops, which are available with a doctor’s prescription, are yet another choice. The gel has the dual purpose of shielding the eye’s surface and keeping the lids tight.

What are the pros and cons of sleeping with open eyes?

We do not encourage sleeping with your eyes open as this is not the usual. It can cause eye dryness, which can interrupt sleep. If you find that you can’t sleep because you can’t get your eyes to close, you should see a doctor. There are times when people sleep with their eyes slightly ajar and don’t even realize it. That’s perfectly typical and doesn’t need to be treated by a doctor.

Is lagophthalmos a dangerous condition?

Although lagophthalmos poses no immediate threat, it’s best to see a doctor to determine what’s causing it to avoid any permanent harm to your eyes. Eye drops that lubricate the eyes, increase tear production, and alleviate dryness may be prescribed by doctors if it is determined that dry eyes are the root cause of the problem.

To aid in keeping the eyes closed at night, your doctor may suggest using surgical tape or an external eyelid weight. However, surgical intervention may be necessary in some cases. To correct lagophthalmos, surgeons typically place a gold weight implant in the upper eyelid. When used properly, it aids in the closure of the eyelids and prevents damage to the cornea without compromising vision.

Is sleeping with open eyes hereditary?

While the tendency to sleep with eyes open may run in families, it is usually outgrown by childhood. Nocturnal lagophthalmos is a condition where the eyes get dilated at night and there does not appear to be any underlying medical cause. A 2009 study published in ScienceDirect found that 5 of 102 cases of nocturnal lagophthalmos had a familial background.

What causes Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s palsy has an unknown but likely viral origin. Possible cause: viral infection leading to inflammation of the nerves that supply the muscles of the face and the muscles that move the eyelids. Bell’s Palsy, sometimes called facial palsy, can strike anyone at any age.

Can you sleep deeply with your eyes open?

No. If you sleep with your eyes open, you probably won’t get much rest. It’s possible that your eyes will dry out, preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. Light pollution prevents restful slumber.

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