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Hypervigilance is a term from psychology and means increased alertness or alertness . It leads to greatly increased arousal and is therefore the opposite of hypovigilance , the term for increased sleepiness . The general generic term for the two opposing forms is vigilance .

However, since vigilance is also understood as alertness, hypervigilance can also be used for increased alertness . Accordingly, hypovigilance also means reduced attention .


Hypervigilance is one of the symptoms that occurs with obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder . Hypovigilance, on the other hand, can be observed in connection with hypnagogic hallucinations, under vigilance-influencing drugs, under sleep deprivation or in delirium with disorders of consciousness and disorders of the day-night rhythm.

Individual evidence

  1. Wiggs, CL et al .: Hypervigilance in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In: Anxiety. 1996; 2 (3): 123-9.
  2. Friedel M. Reischies : Psychopathology: Characteristics of mental illnesses and clinical neuroscience (German edition). Springer , Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 9783540372530 , p. 289.