General Question

syz's avatar

Why don't we sneeze in our sleep?

Asked by syz (35649points) July 21st, 2008

I sometimes wake myself coughing when I’m sick, but I never sneeze in my sleep. As a matter of fact, I sometimes wake completely normally and then have an allergy attack and start sneezing within seconds of waking up. If sneezing is an involuntary action, what delays the onset of my allergy attack while I’m alseep?

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6 Answers

XCNuse's avatar

i was just reading around, some guy asked

how do you know you aren’t sneezing when asleep? lol

I also ready that a lot of our mucus membranes are .. in laymans terms, “shut off”, so are a fair amount of your muscles, meaning that even if something did bother you, your arm would move because it takes far less energy than your lungs would take to blow it out, so that could be a fair reason possibly?

dunno…. good question though.

I mean I know dogs can bark in their dreams sometimes, and I’ve seen one of my sisters burp while asleep (that was nothing short of hilarious), and we cough.

Dunno really..

invisiblesplosions's avatar

We don’t sneeze when we sleep because sneezing is a response to an outside stimulus (read: reflex)—there are few outside stimuli around us when we sleep, thus little chance for dust and other things to get in the face region. More importantly is that the motor neurons responsible for our reflexes are not at work when we sleep, they’re resting (so signals/responses to stimuli don’t get sent to the brain at that time).

If you want to sneeze, wake up!

augustlan's avatar

My daughter sneezes in her sleep frequently…she’s 10 and has done it pretty much her whole life…it’s kinda’ cute, too! Sleepwalking/talking runs in our family, though, so maybe sleepsneezing is related.

delirium's avatar

My SO sneezes in his sleep. Its pretty cute. He then will whimper, wiggle, and roll over.

He also twitches, mumbles, and laughs in his sleep.

aaronou's avatar

I am also a “sneeper” or a sneezing sleeper. Or I could say that I am a sleeping sneezer but that would correlate to me being a “sleezer”, and that doesn’t sound quite right.

MacBean's avatar

This just popped up on the mental_floss feed on my Google reader:

Do people sneeze in their sleep without waking up?

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