snoring, believing you’re still awake


Why do I often lie in bed thinking I haven’t fallen asleep yet, only to have my wife complain I’ve been snoring? Why can’t I hear myself? Am I awake or asleep? Thanks!

In: Biology

On a study of insomniacs that participants were woken up when their brain waves indicated that they had fallen asleep stage 1/2 of sleep. But when woken up the participants said they were not asleep. Good sleepers when woken at same time don’t say this.

Maybe you are not an insomniac but perhaps you are more like them than a good sleeper!

> There are no definitive rules as to when snoring and sleep apnea occur during the sleep cycle, but studies have found certain trends. It is thought that regular snoring occurs more during NREM sleep. This would explain why snorers don’t wake themselves up with the sound of their own snoring.

It looks like snoring happens during NREM sleep, which is different from REM sleep. NREM happens earlier, in the “falling asleep” stages, which is when your body is literally *trying* to shut down the systems of perception so it can get some rest.

This is all to say, your body is trying to do the sleep thing; during this time it might shut off the auditory systems on purpose (it might even be to do with [sensory adaptation](
but this is just a conjecture) to achieve sleep. Maybe what you’re noticing is that sensory adaptation is making you ignore the snoring sounds, gradually, but being woken up violently breaks that sequence.

One thing, think if you ever been tapping a pencil or fingers or some mindless noise. You don’t notice ot until someone mentions it. The brain is really good at letting you ignore what it deems unimportant also why we don’t see our nose all the time.