It’s been a matter of debate as to whether or not people can snore and dream at the same time. If you were to search on the internet, you would find that the whole scientific community is very much divided on this subject.
However, while there are no clear cut and indisputable scientific studies that can fully back either theory, it seems as though the answer to this question is – possibly. Let us see why.
Does snoring prevent dreaming?
Our REM sleep phase is the usual time that we all use to dream and we can snore during this time. However, it is important to realize that the snoring we do, actually tends to disrupt our sleep and quite quickly wakes us up. So, ending the dream phase. Snoring is not really conducive to dreaming due to this disruption. Sleeping soundly is not associated with snoring generally. Which is why it is best to avoid snoring altogether, if you can.
Also consider, your mind consumes more oxygen when you sleep, so while you are snoring, you’re decreasing your oxygen supply which means your brain may not be getting as much oxygen as it requires. This leads to other questions. Why do we snore? What can help if we do snore? And, how to maintain a proper sleep pattern?
Snoring and dreaming are actually two separate processes, but they can occur at the same time. Snoring is a throat, nasal and mouth activity and dreaming is a brain activity. However, snoring can, as has been said, affect your quality of sleep and that can have some unhealthy consequences.
Why Do We Snore?
While people tend to be embarrassed about it, a surprisingly high proportion of the population snores. Snoring is a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissues of the mouth, nose and throat. It is caused by a partial blockage of the upper airway.
When we are awake, we have sufficient muscle tone to keep the airway open. When asleep we relax the muscles and the airway narrows. This reduction of breathing space is not a problem for the majority of us, but for some it is the precondition for snoring. Snorers may have an additional feature, which is an obstruction of some kind somewhere between the Adam’s-apple and the tip of the nose. This blockage can be a deformity, swollen tissue or congestion.
- 41.5% of the UK adult population snore.
- Snoring affects 30 million people in the UK.
- Figures from a recent survey found men are louder snorers than women.
- 58% of snorers are between 50-59 years of age.
Several factors determine whether you keep your partner up at night with your snoring or not. The hoarse sound of snoring can be quite annoying, and it’s caused by the airflow that leads to tissue vibrations in our throats.
Causes of Snoring
We all snore from time to time, but chronic snoring can be a real problem. Chronic snoring can be caused by, aging that diminishes the muscle tone. Medication meant to relax the muscles. Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders. Sleep apnoea, allergies, regular alcohol consumption, smoking, dry air and a dusty environment and also weight gain or obesity.
Since there are so many varied causes of snoring, it’s no wonder that the snoring afflicted group is so large. However, there is some good news – you usually can’t snore while you dream, because snoring is less likely to occur during the REM phase of your sleep, and that’s when dreaming occurs.
How to stop snoring
These are just some snoring remedies:
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Sleep on your side.
- Raise up the head of your bed.
- Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
- Treat chronic allergies.
- Correct structural problems in your nose.
- Limit or avoid alcohol before bed.
- Avoid taking sedatives before bed.
- Stop Smoking.
- Get enough sleep.
- Use a Dental mouthpieces called “oral appliances” can help keep your air passages open.
- Use a continuous positive airway pressure machine.
- Radiofrequency tissue ablation, called somnoplasty. This new treatment uses low-intensity radio waves to shrink the tissue on your soft palate to reduce snoring.
- Get UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). This type of surgery tightens throat tissue in the hopes it will reduce snoring.
What Is REM Sleep?
Usually, REM sleep happens around 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour.
During this phase your heart rate and breathing speeds up. You can have some very intense dreams during REM sleep, since your brain is more active then.
An interesting fact is that babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage, compared to only about 20% for adults.
Why do we dream?
Researchers have long thought that no REM sleep meant no dreams. They theorized that dreams were a sort of safety valve system that helped your brain relieve pressure and tension that you didn’t happen to release during the day. There was a study in 1960 in which subjects were awakened every time they entered REM sleep. The findings included anxiety, irritability and difficulty concentrating the following day. They also noticed an increase in appetite.
The latest ideas on REM sleep are associated with learning. Researchers are trying to determine the effects that REM sleep and the lack of REM sleep have on learning certain types of skills — usually physical skills rather than memory skills. This connection seems very relevant as infants and toddlers experience much more REM sleep than adults.
Additional studies tried to make a connection between difficulty remembering things and lack of REM sleep, but those studies too have been disproven with more research. An indisputable snag in the loss-of-memory-function theory was a man who had experienced a brain injury that resulted in him experiencing no REM sleep. He completed law school and had no problems in his day-to-day life.