Spiritual Meaning of Sleeping with Eyes Open: 9 Signs

Sleeping with eyes open is also known as nocturnal lagophthalmos, which means “night hare eye” in Greek. It is a condition where the eyelids do not close completely during sleep, leaving a gap between them. That can expose the eyes to dryness, irritation, infection, and damage. 

9 Spiritual Meanings of Sleeping with Eyes Open

According to some estimates, about 20% of people experience nocturnal lagophthalmos at some point in their lives, which is more common among children and older adults. People interpret it as a sign of spiritual awakening, enlightenment, or connection with the divine. There are many possible causes of sleeping with eyes open, such as:

#1. Awareness

Sleeping with eyes open may symbolize an individual’s ability to maintain inner awareness even in a state of rest. It could be a sign of mindfulness and consciousness. You’re fully aware of your surroundings while trying to relax. 

It could also be an annoying habit when your mind doesn’t let you escape the complications and hardships of life, even if you try to take a break from it. 

#2. Psychic ability

Some people associate it with psychic abilities such as clairvoyance (seeing beyond physical reality), astral projection (traveling outside the body), lucid dreaming (being aware and in control of your dreams), or remote viewing (perceiving distant locations or events). 

It is also linked with a heightened intuitive sixth sense. It could suggest that the individual is open to receiving spiritual insights, messages, or guidance even in the unconscious sleep state. The individual may be perceived as more special to be connected with the other world. 

#3. Lack of trust

Sleeping with eyes open may be seen as a sign for someone who is not authentic or transparent in their actions or emotions. In a spiritual sense, it could suggest a need for greater honesty and openness in one’s life. 

Those who sleep with open eyes have doubts and are paranoid about trusting someone. They don’t feel overwhelmed by love confessions or emotions. Instead, they suspect the honesty of the other individual confessing to them.

#4. Guardianship

Some interpretations may view open-eyed sleep as a form of guardianship or vigilance. The person may be considered a protector or sentinel, maintaining a watchful presence even during sleep.

This phenomenon could also be viewed as a mysterious and enigmatic symbol, like someone who knows a hidden mystery or is positioned as a secret keeper. It might signify that the individual holds hidden or profound spiritual knowledge that is not readily apparent.

#5- Spiritual Vision

Open-eyed sleep may be interpreted as a symbol of spiritual vision or perception. It could signify the ability to see beyond the visible realities. Some people believe that people who sleep with open eyes have great visions and are intellectuals.

In certain beliefs, sleeping with eyes open might represent the soul’s journey to the origin and back during sleep. It could represent the soul’s departure from the confines of the body during sleep.

#6. Balancing Energies

Another possible meaning is that this act is a way of balancing and harmonizing spiritual energies. It could indicate a state of equilibrium between the inner and outer worlds. 

Sleeping with half-closed eyes so you can’t comprehend and see the present world view and with half-open eyes so you can see the unseen or the world behind curtains.

#7. Vulnerability

Open eyes during sleep might be interpreted as a vulnerability, indicating the person is exposed to or susceptible to external influences. It could be seen as a call for protection.

The person might be feeling scared to be disclosed before anyone. He may have a weakness that he’s trying to hide.

#8. Deep dreams

Another possible meaning is that the person has gone deep into sleep and is overwhelmed by the dream he’s seeing. Sometimes, after a hectic day, we want to relax and get a quick nap. Such moments take us profoundly into sleep, so we quickly heal our body’s tiredness during the process. 

Mostly, carefree people who have less to worry about getting into realms of intense dreaming are blessed with such good sleep when the whole connection to the present time is cut. 

#9. Possession

In some cultural contexts, open-eyed sleep may be associated with the presence of spirits or entities. It might be interpreted as a sign that the person is hosting or being influenced by spiritual forces. 

This could also be seen as symbolic of someone cursed and possessed by some supernatural creature.

Sleeping with Eyes Open: Should I be Concerned?

Have you ever noticed that your partner or child sleeps with their eyes partially or fully open? If so, you might wonder if this is normal or could cause any problems.

Sleeping with eyes open is a condition known as nocturnal lagophthalmos. It affects about 1 in 5 people and can have various causes, such as genetics, facial nerve damage, or thyroid disorders. It can also be a side effect of certain medications, surgeries, or contact lenses.

Sleeping with eyes open can lead to several complications, such as:

  • Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or evaporate too quickly. It can cause symptoms such as redness, itching, burning, blurred vision, and increased sensitivity to light.
  • Eye infections: The eyes are more vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens when the eyelids do not protect them. This can result in infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), keratitis (corneal inflammation), or blepharitis (eyelid inflammation).
  • Corneal damage: When the eyes are exposed to air, dust, or debris during sleep, the cornea can become scratched, ulcerated, or scarred. This can impair vision and cause pain and discomfort.

So, yes, you should be concerned. If you suspect you or someone you know sleeps with open eyes, you should consult an eye doctor. They can diagnose the condition and recommend the best treatment options for your case.

Causes of Sleeping with Eyes Half Open

Sleeping with eyes open is not life-threatening, but it can affect your eye health if prolonged. Here are a few possible causes;

  • Facial nerve damage can affect the muscles that control the eyelids
  • Graves’ disease or hyperthyroidism can cause the eyes to bulge out.
  • Bell’s palsy is a temporary weakness or paralysis of one side of the face.
  • Moebius syndrome is a rare congenital disorder affecting facial nerves and muscles.
  • Stroke, brain injury, or tumor can affect the parts of the brain that regulate eye movements and blinking.
  • Eye surgery can prevent eyelids from closing properly.
  • Allergies, infections, or inflammation can cause swelling or irritation of the eyelids.
  • Medications or drugs, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, or stimulants, can cause dryness in the eyes.
  • Sleep apnea or narcolepsy can disrupt the normal sleep cycle and cause abnormal eye movements.

This can lead to,

  • Blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or difficulty focusing
  • Increased risk of secondary eye infections or corneal ulcers
  • Reduced tear production, eye fatigue, or strain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Sleep deprivation or insomnia
  • Anxiety or depression

Biblical Meaning of Sleeping with Eyes Open

In the Bible, sleeping with eyes open is not explicitly addressed. However, several verses touch upon themes related to sleeping with eyes open.

In the book of Genesis, we read that God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and took one of his ribs to create Eve (Genesis 2:21-22). The Hebrew word for “deep sleep” here is tardemah, a trance-like state or a profound slumber. 

In the book of Numbers, we read that God spoke to Moses and Aaron and said, “If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6-8). Sleeping with eyes open could mean having a close relationship with God or being able to see His glory.

However, sleeping with eyes open could also have a negative connotation in the Bible. 

Proverbs 6:9-11 (NIV) says, “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of being vigilant and not succumbing to laziness. 

Therefore, sleeping with eyes open could be a positive sign of spiritual insight or intimacy with God or a negative sign of disobedience or indifference to God.

Cultural Symbolism of Sleeping with Eyes Open

Different cultures may have different interpretations and associations with this phenomenon. Here are some examples:

#1. Native American

In some Native American cultures, sleeping with eyes open is seen as a sign of spiritual power. It is believed that those who sleep with their eyes open can communicate with their ancestors, receive visions, and access higher realms of consciousness. Sleeping with eyes open is also associated with being a shaman, a healer, or a leader.

#2. Asia

In Asian cultures, sleeping with eyes open is seen as a sign of intelligence and alertness. It is believed that those who sleep with their eyes open can learn more from their surroundings, even when they are asleep. Sleeping with eyes open is also associated with being a scholar, a strategist, or a warrior.

#3. Europe

In European cultures, sleeping with eyes open is seen as a sign of dishonesty and deception. It is believed that those who sleep with their eyes open are hiding something or are not fully committed to their relationships. Sleeping with eyes open is also associated with being a liar, a cheat, or a traitor.

#4. Japanese folklore

In Japanese folklore, there is a creature called the Nukekubi, which is said to appear as a normal human during the day, but at night, its head detaches from its body and flies around. In Japanese mythology, open-eyed sleepers are sometimes associated with supernatural beings or creatures.

#5. Mexico and Latin America

In some Latin American cultures, sleeping with eyes open is considered an omen or superstition, often associated with the belief that it allows spirits or supernatural entities to enter the person’s dreams.

#6. West Africa

This might be linked to spiritual possession or influence in certain West African cultures. It could be interpreted as a sign that the person is being visited or guided by ancestral spirits.

#7. Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Zeus, the king of the gods, was said to sleep with his eyes open to watch over the world and his affairs. However, Argus, a giant with a hundred eyes, was also said to sleep with some of his eyes open, but he was eventually killed by Hermes, who lulled him to sleep with his music. 

According to some myths, the dead could not close their eyes, and they would wander in the dark realm of Hades with their eyes wide open. Therefore, sleeping with eyes open was seen as a sign of being close to death

#8. Hinduism

In Hinduism, sleeping with eyes open is associated with yoga nidra, which means “yogic sleep.” Yoga Nidra is a state of deep relaxation and meditation that can be achieved by practicing certain techniques and postures. 

#9. Tibetan Buddhism

In Tibetan Buddhism, sleeping with eyes open is related to dream yoga, a form of lucid dreaming that aims to achieve enlightenment. Dream yoga involves recognizing that one is dreaming and using the dream state to explore the nature of reality and one’s true self.

Children Sleeping with Eyes Open

Some parents may notice that their children sleep with their eyes open, which can be unsettling. Here are a few possible spiritual meanings for this case;

  • Spiritual Sensitivity: Some may view children who sleep with open eyes as spiritually attuned to the unseen. It could indicate that the child has a heightened awareness about the world of spirits.
  • Guardian Spirits: In certain cultures, children’s open-eyed sleep is associated with guardian spirits or protective entities watching over them during their rest.
  • Symbol of Innocence: Alternatively, it could be interpreted as a symbol of innocence and purity, suggesting that the child is unaffected by the negative energies of this world.
  • Connection to Dreams: Open-eyed sleep is a state where children are more receptive to dreams, visions, or messages from the spiritual realm. It is a sign of a child’s openness to divine communication.
  • Old soul: Some may interpret open-eyed sleep as a sign that the child possesses an old or mature soul, indicating wisdom or experiences from past lives.

Dead Sleeping with Eyes Open

Some people believe that open eyes indicate that the person has achieved a state of liberation and that they are ready to transcend to a higher place. 

Other people may believe that open eyes signify that the person has unfinished business or unresolved issues and that they are seeking closure or forgiveness. 

In many cultures, the closure of the eyes after death is a symbolic gesture representing peace, rest, and the soul’s departure. 

  • In Christian traditions, the deceased’s state is often depicted as peaceful repose. The closing of the eyes after death represents a gesture of respect and a recognition of the soul’s departure to the afterlife.
  • In Islamic traditions, the deceased’s eyes are typically closed after death. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that the eyes of the deceased should be closed, and it is considered one of the duties of those preparing the body for burial.
  • In Hindu traditions, the eyes of the deceased are closed, and the body is prepared for cremation. Closing the eyes symbolizes the end of the individual’s earthly journey.
  • Buddhist traditions may vary, but in many cases, the eyes of the deceased are closed as part of the death rituals and mortuary practices.

Seeing White Light While Sleeping

Seeing white light while sleeping or meditating can have different meanings depending on the context and your personal experience. Here are some possible interpretations:

  • Experiencing a spiritual awakening: Seeing white light can signify that you are opening up to higher dimensions of consciousness. You are also raising your vibration and aligning yourself with your true purpose.
  • Activating your pineal gland: The pineal gland is a small gland in the brain responsible for producing melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. It is also considered the seat of the third eye, the inner vision. Seeing white light can signal that you are stimulating your pineal gland and enhancing your intuitive abilities.
  • Receiving a message from a spirit: Seeing white light can signify that a spirit is trying to contact or show you something. It could be a loved one who has passed away, an angel, or a spirit guide. The spirit may have a message for you or want to let you know that they are with you and watching over you.
  • Cleansing your aura: Seeing white light can signify that you are sending negativity to the white light for purification and absorbing positivity from the bright light in return. You are clearing your aura of any blockages affecting your well-being. 

What to do?

You can use meditation to connect with white light on a deeper level. You can focus on the white light in your mind’s eye or use a candle, a crystal, or an image as a focal point. Also, you can breathe in white light and breathe out any negativity or stress. You can also chant a mantra such as “Om” or “I am” to resonate with the vibration of white light.

How to Stop Sleeping with Open Eyes?

The treatment for nocturnal lagophthalmos depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. The main goal is to keep the eyes moist and protected during sleep. 

Some of the possible treatment options include:

  • Using artificial tears or lubricants can help hydrate and soothe the eyes.
  • Eye masks or tapes can help to keep the eyelids closed during sleep.
  • Avoid sleeping under a fan or air conditioner that can dry out your eyes.
  • Use a humidifier or a spray bottle to add moisture to the air in your bedroom.
  • Wear sunglasses or a hat daily to protect your eyes from sun damage and wind.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support your eye health.
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes, especially if irritated or infected.



Anything that happens around us holds meaning behind its occurrence. 

Whether viewed as a gift or a protective agent, the significance attributed to this unique sleeping behavior is a reminder that the spiritual journey can lead to a greater understanding of oneself and the temporal realms.