FUN FACTS; Can you Snore and Dream at the Same Time?
The fact that you cannot snore and dream is a well circulated fact about sleeping on the internet. However, there are also a large amount of skeptics that are die hard believers that you can snore and dream at the same time. They provide some extremely valid points, too. However, both sides are at a disadvantage. There is no official source that states whether you can or cannot snore and dream at the same time.
If there is a source, it is buried deep in some dusty medical journal in some library somewhere. The study has probably been done at some point, but the conclusive results have never made it to the internet. Modern scientists and researchers ignore the subject, most likely because they have better things to do. I mean, what is answering one random non-life threatening question versus finding a cure for things like sleep apnea or waking paralysis?
So, while I cannot give you a definitive answer, I will at least give you two very valid trains of thought on the subject so you can pick your side in this age old debate.
The skeptics believe that snoring and dreaming are two separate entities.
Snoring happens when the muscles of the mouth and throat relax. This relaxation causes the soft palate of throat to sag in relaxation. Since we still intake air, the air passing through the airway causes the narrowed airway to vibrate. This is how the sound of snoring is made. The narrower your airway, the louder your snoring is. This can be a sign of sleep apnea, however. So if you are disturbing others when you sleep because of your snoring, you may want to consult a doctor.
Dreaming is a response from the brain. There is no one part of the brain that contributes to dreams, it is a team effort on that front. While you can dream all through the night, the sleep stage where most dreams occur is in REM sleep. This sleep stage is courtesy of the electrochemical pulses of the caused by the brain stem. Surprisingly, up until 2004, scientists did not know what part of the brain was responsible for the imagery and scenery in dreams. In 2004, when a stroke victims lost her dreams due to brain damage, two Swiss doctors theorized that the imagery comes from a dense area of gray matter in the back of the brain.
This is essentially why skeptics believe dreams and snoring to be unrelated. One is a reaction to the bodies relaxation and need to breath, the other is some random electrochemical waves firing around in the brain.
Why We Cannot Snore and Dream at the Same Time
The theory for why we cannot snore and dream at the same time has a lot to do with the bodies reaction to REM sleep. In the first stages of sleep, the body relaxes, breathing slows, and heart rate slows. The relaxation of the body, as mentioned previously, leads to snoring. However, when you enter REM sleep you heart rate increases, but you breathing becomes even shallower. Snoring is a result of air passing through the airway and causing vibration and sound. The more air you try to intake, the more intense the vibrations become, thus the louder snoring becomes. So in theory, with your breathing becoming more shallow, the less air your body is taking it. So as a result, it should not cause snoring.
This, I believe, is the basis for why people believe you cannot snore and dream at the same time. This theory suggests that you are less likely to snore while dreaming and not that you cannot snore while dreaming.
However, as I mentioned earlier, there is still no conclusive results on the subject. I have read extensively on both the topics of snoring and dreaming to no avail. Though if you readers out there know of a scientific study that proves it, I would love to hear about it!
So now that you have heard both sides of the story, which do you believe?