Billie Eilish claims that she suffers from a common sleep condition that many people don’t know about: sleep paralysis. She also said that she experiences severe nightmares and that it takes her “forever” to fall asleep at night.
The 18-year-old singer said, “I went to sleep on a plane sitting up the other day for, like, the first time ever. I’ve had sleep paralysis three times. I have a lot of weird sleep issues. I have these terrifying dreams and stuff. Sleep paralysis, night terrors…
“It takes me forever to fall asleep. I don’t understand how people can fall asleep [straight away] – that’s so weird to me.”
Eilish said that her nightmares are so intense that it can affect her all day, and that she has a recurring nightmare that’s been particularly troublesome.
“It’s weird because normally the nightmares I have don’t make me wake up. Lately, I’ve had a couple that do, but normally the dream is the whole night – so the whole night is terrifying. They can really mess me up, so the whole day is off sometimes,” Eilish said.
“I’ll have a dream that really screws with my head and makes me kind of just feel… I don’t know what it is but it makes me feel uncomfortable all day. I’ve had the same nightmare for like two months in a row. Horrible.
“And it affects me day-to-day. It affects how I act and all that.”
The singer also said that she’s aware that she’s dreaming and that she can control them. This phenomenon is called lucid dreaming. According to a 2016 study, 22% of people experience them on a recurring basis at least once per month.
“In my dreams, I always know they are dreams. So I can kind of do things in them, knowing that they are dreams. So if I die in my dreams, I normally come back to life. It’s like a video game almost,” she said about her lucid dreams.
“I’m kind of living through my dreams. They’re lucid dreams, that’s what it is. And I create, I can kind of control things in my dreams. It’s very torturing.”
Eilish did say that there was one upside to having disturbed sleep: it helps her creativity.
“They have given me a couple of ideas for my songs. I probably wouldn’t have made [‘Bury a Friend’] the way it is if I hadn’t had sleep paralysis and horrible nightmares and night terrors and hadn’t been able to sleep and all that stuff. So, that’s a good point, a good way of looking at it.”