Sneezing is a reaction that clears your nasal passages of pollen, dust, and other irritants. You cannot sneeze because your brain inhibits reflexes during NREM sleep and muscular movements during REM sleep. Night sneezing may be reduced by looking for mold, using an air purifier, and excluding dogs from your bed. Sneezes are an reflex response, or involuntary action, which is why it frequently seems impossible to control them. They aid in the removal of allergens like dust, pollen, and toxins from your body.
But if you’ve ever found it difficult to go asleep when suffering from a severe cold, you may already know this for a fact.
Your brain turns off reflex responses functions in your body when you sleep, including coughing and sneezing. According to Dr. Po-Chang Hsu , a medical writer, consultant, and content expert at Sleeping Ocean , when your body has to sneeze, it will awaken.
Continue reading to find out the cause of your morning sneezes and what you can do to stop them.
WHY YOU CAN’T SNEAK WHILE YOU’RE SLEEPING Depending on what stage of sleep you’re in, your body suppresses sneezes in one of two ways.
Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage of sleep during which you dream, are the two divisions of Sleep . Throughout the night, you go through various phases.
DURING NREM SLEEP The first stage of NREM sleep, three stages , has the following:
Stage 1: This briefest stage of sleep lasts between one and five minutes. Stage two: As you drift off into a deeper slumber, your heart rate and body temperature start to decrease. This stage’s first cycle lasts for around 25 minutes, and subsequent cycles last longer. Level three: It’s challenging to awaken from this deepest sleep stage. If something happens to wake you awake during this stage before it ends naturally, you’ll feel drowsy. Your body’s sensory and reflex systems continue to work when you are in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, but they are much less sensitive . This explains why you might need to be shaken awake or why you could be able to sleep through loud noises sometimes.
Similarly, your brain will work considerably harder during NREM sleep to focus on items that would typically make you sneeze, like airborne dust or pollen.
If the stimulus is strong enough, such as a blast of wind blowing pollen through an open window, you could wake up during one of the lighter stages of sleep and sneeze, but you won’t sneeze as long as you stay asleep.
WHILE REM SLEEPING Because your body is immobile when you dream, a brief stage known as motor atonia prevents you from sneezing during REM sleep. Basically, your brain disables movement in your body to stop you from acting out the events of your dreams.
Sneezing requires the coordination of several muscles, and since your muscles are unable to function when your brain causes motor atonia, Hsu claims that sneezing is not possible to sneeze during REM sleep .
WHY DO PEOPLE SNEEZE AT NIGHT? Your body produces A reflex 0 as a defensive reaction to irritants in your nose canal. A sneeze serves to expel anything alien that has entered your nasal passages, such as dust, pollen, or a virus.
There are two main reasons why you might sneeze more frequently at night.
Your actual sleeping environment is the second factor. You may sneeze due to a variety of allergies in your bedroom, with the following common offenders:
Eliminating any potential allergy triggers from your bedroom might be a smart first step. Use these seven suggestions:
1. To lessen pollen in your bedroom, use an air filter and keep your windows closed, especially on days with a lot of pollen.
2. Keep your bedding clean. According to experts, you should wash your pillowcases and sheets in the hottest water possible every two days and once a week, respectively. To lessen your exposure to any allergens coming from your mattress, you might also think about using an allergy barrier bed cover.
3. Keep pets off your bed. reflex 6 on your mattress might irritate your nasal passages and make you sneeze. Try setting up a separate bed for your cat or dog if you really enjoy having them in your bedroom at night.
4. Maintain a tidy bedroom by dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the surfaces there. reflex 7 can reduce the amount of dust and dander that could make you sneeze.
5. Consider taking a nighttime shower: A quick rinse before bed can aid in clearing your skin of any dust and pollen and may even reflex 8.
6. Examine your home for the presence of mold by physically inspecting any dark, damp areas and paying close attention to musty odors. If you believe you have a mold issue, carefully clean the affected areas before using a dehumidifier.
7. Use a neti pot: Before bed, Hong advises using a neti pot, a gadget that holds sterile water that you pour down your nostrils, to clear your sinuses and lessen inflammation.
You might want to speak with an allergist or immunologist to learn more about your treatment choices, which may include medication or allergy shots, if none of the aforementioned suggestions work and you’re still often waking up to sneeze, advises Hong.
INSIDER’S KEY LESSON Sneezing aids in the removal of irritants from the nasal channel, but it is impossible to sneeze when you are asleep because you will need to wake up.
You may have allergies if you frequently sneeze at bedtime or wake up sneezing in the middle of the night.
Making an effort to eliminate allergens from your bedroom may help, but if it doesn’t work, consulting with your doctor is a wise next move. They can suggest remedies to help you get a better night’s sleep and assist you in identifying the causes of your sneezing.