Ever Woke Up And Realised That You’ve Been Crying In Your Sleep? Here’s Why!

Sleeping is supposed to be a peaceful time while our body rests and recharges for the day ahead. 

However, some physical and psychological conditions can interrupt your sleep that causes you to wake up crying. 

ever woke up and realised that you’ve been crying in your sleep? here’s why!Photo via Quora

Sleep-crying can happen at any age, not just babies, and it can be a very upsetting experience whether it’s triggered by a nightmare or even if you’re not sure what brought on the crying. 

What causes sleep-crying?

Babies cry at night simply because they have transitioned from deep sleep to a lighter sleep stage. For adults, however, a mood disorder or feeling overwhelmed emotionally can trigger tears while sleeping.

According to Healthline, there are a wide range of potential causes of waking up crying, some of which can occur in young children and older adults. 

#1 Nightmares

ever woke up and realised that you’ve been crying in your sleep? here’s why!Photo via Variety

Scary dreams are unavoidable and it’s very common as well. They can invade your sleeping mind at any age on any night. 

Though nightmares tend to be more frequent when you’re young, many adults still have nightmares. Nightmares are often related to stress in our lives and may serve as a way of working through upsetting situations from the day or anticipating challenges ahead. 

#2 Night terrors

ever woke up and realised that you’ve been crying in your sleep? here’s why!Photo via Fatherly

Different from a nightmare, night terrors are experiences that most people don’t recall upon waking up.

They can also involve thrashing in bed or sleepwalking. Also known as sleep terrors, night terrors tend to last from a few seconds to a few minutes, though they may last even longer. 

#3 Grief

ever woke up and realised that you’ve been crying in your sleep? here’s why!Photo via National Foundation for Cancer Research

The sadness that accompanies grieving or mourning a loss can be so overwhelming that invades your sleep.

If you’re the type that keeps yourself busy, dealing with work or family and other responsibilities during the day, the emotions triggered by grief may be released only during sleep.

#4 Buried grief

ever woke up and realised that you’ve been crying in your sleep? here’s why!Photo via Time Magazine

Buried grief can happen after a tragic loss. You may not always take the time to grieve in a way that helps you process these feelings.

In addition to crying upon waking up and other sleep problems, symptoms of buried or “blocked” grief can include trouble with decision-making, depression, anxiety, and feeling as though you’re weighed down and lacking energy. 

#5 Depression

ever woke up and realised that you’ve been crying in your sleep? here’s why!Photo via Banyan Mental Health

Like grief, depression is most commonly associated with feelings of sadness and despair. 

But unlike grief, which is usually temporary and can often be traced to a specific event like the death of a loved one, depression tends to be a feeling that is more vague and long-lasting. The many potential signs of depression include, changes in sleeping and eating habits, withdrawal from friends and explained bouts of crying. 

Most causes of sleep-crying are manageable or will resolve themselves in time. 

Don’t worry, crying in your sleep is totally normal, however, if you’re seriously concerned and believe that there is something deeper than the reactions to a nightmare, talk to a doctor or a psychologist!

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat