How to Sleep with your Eyes Open

Want to fall asleep with your eyes open and catch a few extra minutes of sleep in class or a boring meeting?


humans are unable to sleep with their eyes open – unless they are suffering from Nocturnal Lagophtahlmos! That means your boss (or teacher) will know when you try to sleep the day away! Lets take a look at the science behind sleeping with your eyes open – plus a few of our favorite tips and tricks for catching some extra sleep.

Boy sleeping on bed

Can humans sleep with their eyes open?

Nope! Humans are physically unable to sleep with their eyes open (unless suffering from a rare disease).

Next time your buddy tells you how he slept with his eyes open remind them they were likely just in a deep relaxation.

You might not be able to sleep with your eyes open by experienced mediators claim to get the same restful benefits of sleep while meditating with their eyes open!

10 Ways to Sleep with Your Eyes Open

1. Deep Meditation

Deep meditations are a fun and relaxing way to relax your body and mind. There are many great guided meditations on Youtube. These peaceful recordings have audio and video that will help your disengage from your busy life in only a few minutes! Best of all – they are on Youtube so they work on your PC, Mac or Phone!

2. Sunglasses and a Hat

Need to catch some shut in a company meeting or class? Since sleeping with your eyes open is impossible your best bet is sunglasses or a hat. Of course, this look might be possible to pull off in college but will get you sent to HR if you try it in the office!

3. Cover your Face

Stuck in a boring business meeting after staying up all night? Try covering your face (especially your eyes) with your hands. Shielding your eyes while holding a pen and pretending to take notes is an age old way of getting some extra sleep. Just don’t get caught!

4. Dim the Lights

Sleeping with the lights on is no fun! If you need to sleep with your eyes open try dimming the lights and shutting the curtains. Florescent light and sunlight both make it harder for us to rest!

5. Use Earplugs

Loud noises can quickly disrupt your meditations and bring you back to the real world. If you are constantly distracted or disrupted by noise try using a pair of in ear earplugs to find silence while you rest!

6. Rest your Head

Ever tried sleeping without a pillow? It is something you will only try once!

Try finding a comfortable position to rest your head using your arm, a jacket or part of your chair (just don’t get caught sleeping)! Need a new pillow to replace your old one? Check out a few of our favorite pillows like Leesa!

7. Half Close your Eyes

Since humans can’t keep their eyes 100% open while sleeping the next best thing is partially open!

Instead of trying to do the impossible and sleep with your eyes open give into temptation and try partially closing your eyes. Just make sure not to fall asleep!

Partially closing your eyes will block light and start preparing your body for sleep!

8. Try Guided Imagery

Guided imagery, like deep meditation, is not for everyone but can be very effective. If you are able to lie in bed and listen to a recording walking you through various relaxing states than guided imagery might be for you!

9. Use a Sleep Mask

Need to block all the light and be distraction free? There is no better way than by strapping on a sleep mask! Don’t worry, they are more comfortable than they look and you won’t even notice it is there after 3 nights.

10. Hold a book or newspaper

Steal a scene right out of the movies and hold a book, newspaper or tablet in front of your face! It might seem silly but if it works it works!

Man sleeping on the couch

What is Nocturnal Lagophthalmos?

Nocturnal Lagophtahamos is defined as the inability to close your eyes during sleep. So technically it is not the ability to sleep with your eyes open but it is as close as it gets!.

Causes and symptoms vary for Nocturnal Lagophthalmos. While sleeping with your eyes open might sound great it is not the super power you might think! For some it can have serious side effects that can damage the eyes or make day to day life a struggle!

People with Nocturnal Lagophthalmos often have dry, irritated eyes which can lead to corneal ulcers and other eye problems after long periods of time!

The easiest way to tell if someone has Nocturnal Lagophthalmos is to ask them to look straight down and close their eyes. If a gap remains between the eyelids it might be time to see a doctor!

Marie Seska

Marie Seska

Marie Seska is one of the most trusted sources on the net for sleep information. She searches the web - as well as the latest medical journals to bring her readers the latest news and information.