Is this a mortal sin? Advice?

During middle school/early high school I had trouble with my impurity (pornography/masturbation). On a personal level I understand how wrong it is, and I’ve always tried to control it. Through the Grace of God, He helped me control it completely that I’ve been living a much better life in this regard since middle of High School (now a college student).

However I have a new problem.
On several occasions throughout this year, I’ve been touching myself in my sleep. Let me explain.
I am aware of where I am and what I am doing. However, in my state of semi-sleep I’m not consciously thinking of my actions and of my morals.

An example of what I’m talking about is that on one occasion my sister sort of woke me up. I was aware that I am in the room with my sister, and I talked just nonsense things for 10 seconds before falling asleep. I remember this completely when I wake up later. It seems that I am conscious of myself and the surroundings but I am not conscious on my morality and ability to think for my actions.

I have been praying to God that I don’t do this in my sleep and considering it is still my body, I still repent to God as it is still my responsibility.

I want to live a pure life, so how should I deal with this. I’m not tempted in these actions, it just seems that in my semi-sleep delirious state I am not able to comprehend and think for my actions, sort of like a drunk person would. So is this a mortal sin, and advice on how to stop this?

Firstly, this is not a mortal sin. You are NOT fully consenting to it.

I find the conscious learns from the subconscious. As you limit and control your thoughts and actions when you’re awake, this helps to control your subconscious, but the two don’t always correlate perfectly.

Most likely, this is either a carry over from your past where you struggled more with impurity, or you are struggling with lustful thoughts a lot throughout the day.

Don’t allow yourself to indulge in lustful thoughts for even a second. Start trying to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards them. It’s very hard, I know, but the more you try and strive for it, the more pure you become.

God Bless!

In order to commit a mortal sin there needs to be not only grave matter but also full knowledge and deliberate consent.

As one becomes awake -simply turn ones thoughts and actions to other things.


Sounds like a form of lucid dreaming. You can almost see a video in your mind and have thoughts as things happen in the video, but you are not fully conscious. That lessens your culpability to the point that it is a venial sin. You are not in mortal sin; you are still in a state of grace. You should still tell your confessor at your next confession, but there is no need to rush to confession.

Place sacramentals is your room, icons, a crucifix, Divine Mercy picture, statue of Mary, and or Our Lady of Guadalupe picture. Surround yourself with things to help you think holy thoughts, and consciously look at them.

Pray before you go to sleep, especially the rosary. Ask for help and protection from Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the saints.

If you wake up disturbed get out of bed and walk around. Go into another room.

We are all in spiritual battles. They are real. If we ignore them we will lost them.

I actually can’t do some of these things as I live in a college dorm (with a roommate and such). Although I will do what I can to keep my mind on them and in prayer.

I do have a question though. Where can I get an icon/crucifix/statues/and such. I’m on a Jesuit college, but is there a specific kind of store to sell Catholic things as listed? I plan on converting once the RCIA on campus starts, so I am new to these things and where to get them.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit