Like we recharge our electronic devices when the battery drains out, we also recharge ourselves. Want to know how? We sleep! As we fall asleep, our body relaxes and rejuvenates itself. This is why, after a sound sleep, we feel energetic and fresh. Best feeling ever, right ladies? However, unfortunately, somedays, you may not get to sleep properly because of several reasons such as unsettling dreams, nightmares, and sometimes, some of you may even start crying in sleep.

Have you been facing issues while sleeping, for instance, do you wake up crying in sleep for no apparent reason? If yes, there are a few possible reasons why you are unable to get a sound sleep. Crying while sleeping brings no good feelings, the worst part is, some even have no idea why they wake up and cry. We see babies crying out in their sleep, but on reaching adulthood, crying while asleep seems odd and worrisome. 

Also Read: Tips To Fall Asleep Faster

Crying in Sleep: What could be the reason?

We all get bad dreams, especially when we go through a difficult phase in life. Some also lose their sleep. Life is full of ups and downs, and everyone deals with the bad times in their way. Some may ask, can you cry while sleeping? The answer is yes, crying out in your sleep as an adult, is more common than you know. Some whimper in their sleep and some wake up crying. So, here are some common causes of crying while asleep: 

1. You have been dealing with too much stress lately


Stress is, unfortunately, an inseparable part of life. All we can do is try our best to learn how to deal with the struggles and hardships that come on our way. Not everyone is the same, and some break down in life when they are not able to cope up with the stress, especially, in times of a pandemic when we all have to live with too many restrictions. So, if you have been crying in sleep recently, then, you must question yourself if stress could be the reason. Stress and anxiety are two factors that can create several health issues, including this one. Although wake up crying is not a health issue, per se, it can have serious implications if ignored. 

2. Underlying sleep disorders

Underlying sleep disorders may also be the cause of your wake up crying episodes. Now, sleep disorders are again often linked with stress and anxiety. This type of disorder that includes parasomnia is a possible reason why you may start crying out while asleep. Parasomnia is a condition where a person shows abnormal behavior while sleeping. There are two particular types in this case -NREM parasomnia and REM parasomnia. This causes a person to experience the following: 

  • Sleepwalking
  • Night terrors
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep-related eating disorder

Also Read: Sleeping With One Eye Open

3. Mental health is at risk

Everything in this world has its limitations. The same thing can be said in the case of our mental health. The human mind is one of the most powerful things on this planet, yet it is vulnerable at the same time. Mental health disorders such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia may also be another factor that is causing you to wake up crying in your sleep.

4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

Every one of us goes through a traumatic event at least once in our lives. A traumatic event can be harmful to us in all aspects – physical, emotional, psychological. Moving on with our lives after a trauma is pretty difficult, and may require professional help to cope. Some try to bury their feelings, which is even worse, as it leads to a breakdown in the future. Many are not able to come out of mourning and continue to feel pain emotionally for a long time. In such situations, the person may end up with wake up crying episodes. 

Also Read: Headache From Oversleeping

What to do when you are Crying in your Sleep?

Some of the people with this issue wake up when they realize they are crying out loud while asleep. However, there are also cases where the person experiences wake up crying episodes but can’t seem to stop it. Point to be noted, sometimes, the person may not even know why he or she started crying while sleeping. If you suffer from this sleep issue frequently, then you must consult a physician. On consultation, the doctor may ask about any recent event that is affecting you negatively, your sleeping routine, and your overall daily routine.

 Crying in Sleep
 Crying in Sleep


The only way of treating such an issue is to eliminate the causing factor. Commonly, crying out while asleep occurs when a person has been stuck in a stressful environment for too long. In the case of young children, this problem usually goes away eventually, as the reason is mostly due to nightmares. If you are too concerned, then a visit to the doctor is a must. Therapy sessions may be of help if you recently had a traumatic experience or lost someone dear to you. Your doctor may also refer you to a sleep specialist to study your sleep for a night.

You should not ignore this development

Many of us have a habit of ignoring any potential medical condition, thinking it will get over soon. In most cases, it does disappear when the prime reason behind it is stress and anxiety. In the end, we all eventually realize taking all that stress doesn’t even matter. If necessary, talk to your friends, or relatives whom you trust about this matter. Talking always helps! Initially, you may feel shy or hesitate to discuss that you have been crying in sleep. But if it is not going away, then medical consultation is a must for further diagnosis and treatment. Importance should be given because the fact you wake up crying in your sleep is affecting your overall health as well, be it in a minimal amount. Disruption in your sleep is never healthy, as it is the only time your body can truly relax and repair. 

Also read: How To Have A Good Night’s Sleep

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What happens when you wake up crying from a dream?

A. Dreams that bring up strong emotion can result in real-life tears. In some cases, you may remember your dream. This will give you an indication of why you wake up crying.

Q. Is crying a symptom of anxiety?

A. Yes, anxiety can make you cry uncontrollably.

Q. Can anxiety make you cry in your sleep?

A. Yes, stress and anxiety can lead to mood swings and sleep problems.

Q. Is it normal to cry every night?

A. No, it is not normal to cry every night. It depicts that you are way too sad.

Q. Why am I crying in my dreams?

A. If you see yourself crying in a dream, it could mean that you want to tell someone or everyone how you feel. This could be hidden anger, sadness, happiness, pain, ecstasy, etc.

Also Read: Is It Normal To Be Thirsty At Night?