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Crying During Sleep: Causes and Solutions

Crying in sleep is a common issue for people of all ages. But it can be mentally taxing on some people, as it can disrupt your sleep and ruin your night. And therefore, your day.

It can be caused by many things, such as anxiety, stress, or even a sinus infection.

Crying while you are asleep may cause you to wake up feeling depressed and exhausted the next day.

Or it could wake you up because you feel the tear running down your cheeks. It’s a very unpleasant experience by itself, but you also

In this article, we are going to see what causes crying during sleep. We’ll also see how it might affect your life on both short-term and long-term levels.

Editor’s note: this article is aimed at adults. It’s perfectly normal for babies to cry during sleep—and in fact—you should let them do it freely.

The Causes of Crying During Sleep

Before tackling the issue, we must first know where it comes from. What causes people to cry in their sleep? There are plenty of potential reasons, so it is imperative you analyze your situation and understand why you’re crying during sleep.

Editor’s note: if it happens only once or twice, you shouldn’t read too much into it. As you’ll see, there are events that can trigger a strong emotional response during sleep, but these usually heal with time. Crying during sleep becomes problematic when it happens regularly.


Nightmares usually happen during REM sleep, and they’re usually caused by a stressful event that happened to you that day. It could be an accident you witnessed, a person you got into a fight with, or even a sudden change in your life. Night terrors are nightmares, too.

Also, nightmares teach us about fears we have as humans. When you dream about being chased by monsters and monsters, for example, it’s not because you think these beasts are real – it’s often because these monsters represent some aspect of your psyche that scares you the most. Through nightmares, we learn about the things that frighten us most in the world, which is why they are so common among children

Crying because of a nightmare is more common than you think. If the nightmare makes you feel extreme grief, like the death of a loved one, you will shed tears for it.

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Grief can disrupt sleep and is often accompanied by crying, whether during the day or at night. Experiencing grief is perfectly normal when you are subject to awful events. There’s no proper solution to this, but to accept it in full. Time will heal it.

However, some people have a stronger emotional response to grief than others. If you’re among these people, then please seek a counselor’s help. Your mental health’s on the line.


When you are sad, you might not sleep well. Sleep helps make people happy. This is a vicious cycle. Depression and sleep are intertwined, so if you aren’t sleeping well because of depression, then the lack of sleep will cause your depression to worsen.

Depression never loosens its grip on your brain. While being depressed doesn’t equal sadness, the feeling of helplessness and loss of motivation can be enough to trigger an emotional response in the brain. Especially during sleep, when your guard is down.

Also Read: Is There A Link Between Insomnia and Depression?

Stress & Anxiety

We all have anxiety sometimes – it’s normal and we can only hope for things to get better with time. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how mature you think you are. We all have our own reasons to be stressed and anxious.

Anxiety may cause crying during sleep because it’s stress that has been amplified by your body. It can manifest – through an increased heart rate, for example, which leads to unusual breathing patterns and unease. This unease leads to our tears.

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Tiredness & Fatigue

If you don’t get enough sleep, then your body will be tired the next day. Sleep deprivation can cause a lot of symptoms in people – from problems with memory to even hallucinations. And crying during sleep may happen because of this lack of sleep.

How to Stop Crying During Sleep

Once you’ve figured out the cause of your sleep-related crying, it’s time to figure out what to do about it. Some people are more open than others when talking about their problems and they might even find a solution for themselves if all else fails.

If you identify with one of these causes more than others – like if nightmares are always the problem – then you can find a solution by understanding the cause.

  • Crying during sleep may happen because of stress, grief, or depression. If you can manage your triggers (e.g., stop drinking coffee), then that will also help.
  • Sometimes people cry from a nightmare when the emotion is extreme- like a loved one has died in the dream and it makes them feel grief.
  • Sometimes people cry for no reason at all – this is called sudden crying syndrome. This usually happens to children and pregnant women, but can be triggered by things too.

Crying During Sleep: Solutions

If you are experiencing these symptoms, then there are some things that can help. The most common solution is to sleep more – it might be as simple as taking a nap or going to bed earlier than usual  Closer monitoring of your emotions and what may have triggered the crying episode could also do some good. It’s important not to be hard on yourself and realize that it’s completely natural for our bodies to experience these things when we are feeling at their worst

It is possible, if you think about the causes, what triggers your emotional response during sleep will become clearer. If nightmares cause weeping in your sleep, then find out how to stop nightmares. If you’re stressed, then take a break from whatever is causing that stress and get enough sleep every night.

It’s important not to be hard on yourself and realize that it’s completely natural for our bodies to experience these things when we are feeling at their worst

There may have been times where you just couldn’t help but cry – maybe you were just feeling so emotional, or something happened that was really upsetting. And it’s okay to cry during sleep sometimes too.

Crying can be a way for our bodies and minds to release the stress we’ve built up. Some people are more open than others when talking about their problems and they might even find a solution for themselves if all else fails.

If the problem becomes a tremendous burden on your life, it’s best to consult a sleep therapist or a counselor. They are trained specialists ready to help you with your mental health, which is paramount to good sleep. I understand they might be an expensive solution, but this is one problem that needs solving the most.

Note: some white noise may help, like rain.


Crying is a common response to strong emotions. Sometimes, there’s no other way but to let emotions flow and process in our brain. In fact, it’s the most common way to get over grief.

It’s always good to let your inner self process emotions. It’s the natural state of our mind. Crying during sleep is a way to express the emotions you are processing. So, if it’s something that happens every once in a while, you shouldn’t be concerned.

But when it becomes regular, look into it, discover its causes, and work on fixing them. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where you have little power over it. You’ll most likely have to rely on external help to get over this issue.

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