Seeing Spiders When Waking Up? This Is Why & How To Stop It

close up photo of a helpless woman with a spider on her face

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff

You wake up in the middle of the night, and see a spider crawling on the wall. You’re sure it’s there, but when you turn on the light to get a better look, there’s nothing there.

It can be very unsettling especially if it’s happening frequently. This can be accompanied by hallucinations that many people mistake for reality, like seeing spiders when waking up on their ceiling or even in their bed! It’s known as hypnopompic hallucinations—or waking up from your sleep while still dreaming—and they’re actually pretty common.

Here we’ll explore what causes these spidery sensations when waking up, how they can be addressed, and what they mean for your health. Also we will explain what you should do if you experience them more often than average.

black spider

But First, What Exactly Are Hypnopompic Hallucinations?

The term hypnopompic refers to a sleep disorder in which people experience hallucinations upon awakening. A hypnopompic hallucination occurs when you’re waking up from sleep and still in the stage between being fully awake and fully asleep.

These vivid hallucinations can be benign—like seeing an animal on your bed or seeing spiders when waking up—or they can be nightmarish visions that can cause psychological distress.

In either case, hypnopompic hallucinations are generally brief and harmless; they are not a sign of mental illness but rather just part of normal human consciousness.

woman in white tank top

What Causes Hypnopompic Hallucinations?

A variety of factors can contribute to hallucinations upon waking up in the morning. For example, some people report seeing spiders after having consumed alcohol before bedtime or not getting quality sleep.

Recommended: Tips On How To Get A Better Sleep Naturally

There are several underlying causes for these sleep disorders. These include anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep apnea, schizophrenia and narcolepsy.

Some people simply don’t get enough sleep, and their brain tries to compensate for this by giving them an extra exciting dream. Others suffer from sleep disorders that cause their brains to produce strange images during REM sleep.

Certain types of medication can also lead to hallucinations like seeing spiders when waking up, especially if you’re not used to taking them or if your body has developed a tolerance over time.

Stressful situations can cause nightmares and hallucinations while we’re sleeping too—and sometimes they’ll even lead us into waking up in the middle of REM as well!

Sleep Apnea & Hypnopompic Hallucinations

Sleep apnea is the most common cause of hypnopompic hallucinations among adults. The body will enter into a deep state of unconsciousness during sleep that causes it to stop breathing briefly in order to restart itself again and continue breathing normally.

This process can occur several times per night resulting in grogginess upon waking up, especially if you were experiencing it during your last REM cycle before falling asleep.

It’s thought that this condition may be linked with heart disease because high blood pressure puts more strain on your heart which increases its rate until fatigue sets in causing you not only wake up feeling tired but also experiencing headaches or blurred vision – both symptoms associated with hypnopompic hallucinations.

Symptoms Of Hypnopompic Hallucinations

You may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Vivid and realistic hallucinations that are often frightening. These hallucinations can occur during the transition from sleep to wakefulness.
  • Sleep paralysis or hypnagogic jerk, which is when you feel paralyzed while still falling asleep or waking up.

If you experience these symptoms, it is likely that you are having hypnopompic hallucinations.

woman sleeping in bed near smartphone

Are Hypnopompic Hallucinations Dangerous?

A hypnopompic hallucination is not dangerous, in and of itself. However, they can be frightening and disturbing to experience. It’s also possible that you might feel disoriented or confused after waking up from a hypnopompic hallucination—especially if you’re still tired when it happens.

If you’re experiencing these types of hallucinations on a regular basis and are worried about what they mean for your health, see a doctor to rule out other causes for your symptoms (such as narcolepsy). A doctor may recommend medication or therapy to help manage the symptoms associated with hypnopompic hallucinations.

a man sitting on a bed

How Can You Stop Having Hypnopompic Hallucinations?

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to prevent hypnopompic or other hallucinations like seeing spiders when waking up. However, you can do some things to reduce the frequency and intensity of these hallucinations:

  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol-induced sleep paralysis is often accompanied by hallucinations that may be similar to those experienced during hallucination.
  • Avoid sleep deprivation. If you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, it can cause hallucination and increase your risk of experiencing other types of hallucination as well (even though they’re not technically classified as such).
  • Exercising regularly helps improve cardiovascular health and reduces stress levels—two key factors in preventing both sleep paralysis and hallucinations altogether!
photo of sleeping man

When To See A Doctor

If you are experiencing hypnopompic hallucinations and they are mild, infrequent, and not accompanied by other symptoms or mental health issues, then don’t worry. These experiences are a normal part of sleep cycles that can be easily managed.

However, if your hallucinations are causing significant distress or interfering with your daily life, there are a few steps you can take to manage them:

  • Talk to someone about how you’re feeling, including your doctor. If the presence of their hallucinations is distressing and making it difficult for them to function normally in day-to-day activities, encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional who can guide them through proper treatment options.

  • Consider avoiding alcohol before bedtime; this may help reduce the severity and frequency of these episodes due to its sedating effects on brain activity (though please note that alcohol consumption in general has been linked to poor quality sleep).
crop unrecognizable male doctor with stethoscope

seeing spiders when waking up: To Wrap Things Up

If you suffer from hypnopompic hallucinations, you may or may not experience them for the rest of your life. They can be disturbing and out of control, but there are ways to help reduce these types of hallucinations.

Now that you know what hypnopompic hallucinations are and how to recognize them. If you experience these types of hallucinations, consult a doctor.

It is important to speak with a doctor about any potential medications that might bring relief from these vivid dreams that seem real when waking up or falling asleep again after waking up.