Halucinations when tired.

I have heard that if you get tired enough you start to halucinate. Does that halucination come in the form of seriously messed up vision?

This is serious because it’s happening to me right now! as I write this. It is getting worse by the minute. I can barely see this as I type it. I am relying on my touch typing skills.
I am starting to get worried? It is all on the right side of my vision (in both eyes) Maybe one side of my brain is going to sleep!

I’ve had this happen to me.

Mine has never been serious though. I will see weird things like the curtains moving, when there is no draft at all, and vision in general is like looking out of a winshield with water running over it.

Go to bed, man!!!

I’ve had audio and visual halluncinations when working much too long, with no sleep. Unlike being on drugs or being psychotic, you know they only illusions. Doesn’t make them any less creepy, but you’re not going to start shooting holes in cubicle walls because of it.

Unless you need to as a form of therapeutic stress relief.

I can’t! I’m at work! That’s why it’s worrying me. I have to stay awake for atleast 4 more hours. (I work alternating shifts. I am on nights at the mo)

Get some sleep/rest! When I’m exhausted, I occasionally see fleeting small shadows flitting by. Check out:


For those who can’t get the link to work:

On a long car trip I hallucinated. First I thought there was a tall man in s black frock coat and stovepipe hat levetating across the road. Then I thought I ran over a little old lady and two kids on bicycles (I didn’t, thank the gods; they didn’t exist).

At least you’re at a desk and not driving a car!

Well, head home late after one Christmas eve (I was the passenger, thankfully), I thought I saw two shadows on the road STAND UP (a la the evil spirits in the movie Ghost), a few minutes later, I was starting to wonder why the car had a long section of white PVC pipe attached like a lance to the side-I was seeing the bicycle lane stripe on the road, but my brain was seriously mis-interpereting things by then. I also remember being woken up several times when my head jerked my neck sharply as I fell asleep sitting up.

I slept well upon getting home that night, I assure you.


I always thought that being high on pot was pretty much the same experience as being severely sleep deprived.

Not that I’ve done either, mom. Someone told me…honest.

So if you can have halucinations while high, well, why not when sleep deprived? Your receptors are misfiring! Have a Coke!

I remember studying late with my friend (We’re in college, and our dorm has a kitchen that nobody uses late at night, making for a good studying place, since there are dining tables and stuff around). Somebody had been baking cupcakes or something, and spilled some sprinkles on the counter. At around 5:00 am or so, I looked over at the counter, and I could have sworn the sprinkles were starting to write and crawl around like maggots. It was pretty much the spookiest thing I ever thought I saw.

If you also had a headache at the time, you could be experiencing migraine. If the visual problem does not eventual resolve, you had a stroke.

The other thing that this could be is a focal seizure. Sleep deprivation lowers the threshold for seizures and also migraines.

When I am REALLY tired (not sleeping for more than a day while working) I would often get auditory halucinations. Usually very simple, just someone (most often a relative, like my mother) saying my name.
It is especially odd because it would sound more real than reality, like some idealized sound.

Are you sure the effect is in both eyes? If you see a dark cloud or obstruction in one eye and it persists, it just might be retinal detachment. It happened to my father after he pulled a couple of all-nighers, so apparently fatigue and stress are risk factors. If that’s the case, drop everything and go to a doctor.

By the way, if one side of the brain went to sleep, I think you’d lose one eye not half of each. Ducks can do that, you know - one brain remains partially awake, and one eye remains open.

I had this happen after 3 days of no sleeping I as young and my mom said i was talking to people that wasnt there

We went to the er and they gave me a shot and some pills to help if it ever happened again

Needless to say it did but along came a better solution the internet and aol :smiley:

I see fire when I’ve gone a few days without sleep.

That’s not exactly true…I don’t have any visual effects if I just sit and stare at something, but if my eyes are moving, I remember seeing fire a split second after I look away from something. It’s kinda hard to explain.

Once, after being up for about 50 hours, I decided to take a nap on the couch. The far end of the couch, of course, was on fire. I remember thinking, “Ah well…it’ll wake me up when it gets to my toes…”


I went six days and nights without sleep in the 70s with the help of amphetamines. By the end I was deranged, according to my partner (I have very little memory of the later events). I was holding conversations with myself in two distinct voices, seeing and interacting with things that were not there, and oblivious of reality. Despite fuelling myself with more amphetamine, I at last succumbed and slept for three days straight. There were no obvious after-effects but I wouldn`t like to repeat the experience.

I had visual halluctinations after a very long shift without rest (a couple or three days and nights continuous work (about twenty of which were spent driving) with only a handfull of hours’ rest in total; I started experiencing distrubances in my peripheral vision - the pattern on the carpet would ‘swim’ and flicker. When I finally collapsed into bed at the end, the large soft toys on my wife’s wardrobe top were waving happily at me, although they stopped when I looked directly at them.

The other thing I experienced was delusions of two particular types: the first was that I was making better business decisions and generally performing more effectively the more tired I got, the second (which generally started after more than 24 continuous hours at work) was that nobody really needs sleep anyway - it’s just a conspiracy.

Me again. I’m ok now. It’s my next day at work and this time I am just boring old run-of-the-mill tired.

The vision problem cleared up after half an hour but left me twice as tired as before it happened.

The problem was in both eyes. I wouldn’t have said so if it wasn’t. I checked by closing each eye in turn and it was there both times.

It was worrying, but it was probably more interesting than worrying. It gave me a little bit of an insight into my ‘nature’ I felt more like a computer that could go wrong in interesting ways and still function in others, than a bioligical thing that just feels ill when it gets a problem.

The vision problem it’self is hard to describe. There wasn’t any specific halucinations beyond my eyes (like the lance sticking out of the car that one poster described) It was like I could still see in that area but the information wasn’t being processed properly. It was almost like that area of my vision was being ignored by my conscious mind. It wasn’t black or any other colour, it just wasn’t at all. It must be like that to be blind. When we sighted people think of blindness we might imagine that the blind person sees blackness. We can’t comprehend that they just don’t see.

During military training, we’re frequently kept up way longer than normal human design parameters. On one particular night, the guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, in all seriousness, “What’s with the hockey players?”
“Um,” I responded.
“Those hockey players,” he said, pointing directly in front of me.
I saw a bush. Just a bush.
“Dude, it’s a bush.”
“Oh. Okay.”

A few minutes later, we reached our objective and formed up for the squad leader to get his next orders. As we did, I noticed that everything was really bright.
Oh, crap, I thought. I’m glowing. I’ll give away our position. No, wait. If I’m glowing, I must be the messiah.
I turned to my hockey-player-seeing friend and asked, “Am I glowing?”
He looked very seriously at me for a moment, then shook his head.
“Then I’m not the messiah. I must be tired.”

That was a long night.

LOS, the drug of choice during exam week in engineering school (Lack Of Sleep.) I remember that wastebaskets would slowly sneak up on me, closer and closer, but if I should glance in their direction they’d zoom back to their proper place. Also, whenever I tried to recall a song, I could hear it playing in my head with full acoustic detail. Also the ceiling would wave, as if the room was full of water except a few inches of air space at the top.
Once after a few days without sleep I discovered “Thomas Edison Mode”, where I could keep going for days and days with 5-minute catnaps every few hours. After a couple of weeks of this the project ended I started sleeping normally, yet it took many days for the effects to wear off. I could read people’s minds, (and hear all their plots against me!) Also, I somehow knew that mirrors could be used as spy-holes by any demons who happen to wander by. And the whole world was full of hilarious synchronicities and really bad visual puns. It didn’t interfere much with my design abilities though. And I wrote down some crazy ideas at the time which still don’t seem totally crazy.

Someone later told me that Thomas Edison is today regarded as having Bipolar Disorder, and from my experience it seems that you can trigger a manic episode through his kind of “cat-napping” procedure. Manic energy and ambition plus no lost time during sleep sure gets a lot of work done though.

Hold your hand in front of you, keep your eyes straight ahead, then move your hand off to the side so it’s behind your head. What does it look like? It’s not black or grey. Try wiggling your fingers while moving your hand in and out past the edge of your vision. Try to describe the exact character of “gone-ness” of things out there.