Can You Sneeze in Your Sleep?


Many people ask, can you sneeze in your sleep? The answer is, you cannot. If you wish to learn more, keep reading.

You see, a reflex action is unlikely to happen as we sleep. Sneeze is one of these reflex actions that is triggered by external stimulants. Therefore, this is not possible.

Sneezing is a process where it clears out the irritants from your throat and nose. If our body detects non-allergen particles and allergens in the nasal cavity, you can expect to sneeze afterward. Take note that our nose hair acts as the first line of defense against the particles. So if you have a habit of removing it, we say stop.

The Cause of Sneezing

Others call sneezing sternutation. This is the involuntary act of releasing air from the lungs via the mouth and nose. Here are a few reasons why we sneeze.

  • Dust, pollens, and other allergens
  • Other tiny particles that enter the nasal cavity
  • Common cold, cough, influenza
  • Bright lights
  • Stomach sneeze reflex, a rare genetic disorder

Can You Sneeze in Your Sleep

Do You Sneeze When You Sleep?

According to experts, it is impossible to sneeze when you sleep. Allow us to explain this further.

Our nighttime sleep has four to six sleep cycles. In each cycle, there are four stages. There are three stages of non-Rapid Eye Movement or NREM and one Rapid Eye Movement or REM. The NREM is about 75% of our sleep time, and the remaining goes to REM.

Stage 1 – 3

This is the stage where light sleeping occurs, and you can get easily disturbed. Your eyes move slowly, and your muscles are just starting to relax.

From here, your eye movement stops. In addition, your heart rate and even temperature drop. It is the stage where your body is preparing for deep sleep.

And then your blood pressure drops. The slow-moving brain waves interspersed with the rapid brain waves. When you wake up at the 3rd stage of your sleep, you are likely to feel disoriented.

REM Stage

It’s the stage where your eyelids remain closed, but your eyeballs move from side to side. Most dreams take place here, and even if you can remember your dreams, take note that your body is asleep, leading to REM atonia. Because of that, it prevents it from sneezing.

What is atonia?

When we speak about atonia, this is a medical condition wherein your muscles lose its strengths. Now, specifically for REM atonia, your muscles are extremely relaxed, and only your brain is active. So if an allergen or particle enters the nasal cavity, it will not trigger the neurotransmitter histamine.

During NREM, it is possible that a sneeze will be triggered. However, the cerebral cortex and thalamus region might suppress sensory reactions, and this includes sneezing.

Can You Cough In Your Sleep?

Another question that people ask is if you can cough in your sleep. The answer remains no during deep or REM sleep. But during light sleep, this is possible.

Take note, though, that when you constantly cough or sneeze during sleep, it can lead to daytime fatigue, and it might hinder you from doing your daily activities the best possible way.

If you want to learn more information, you can check out this video.

How to Prevent Dust and Allergens

If you have been an avid reader of our blog page, you know how much we promote quality sleep. And whatever tips and tools we can find, we make sure to share it with you.

For this particular post, we want to list down equipment that can help you remove dust and other allergens from your room. That way, you can get the right amount of sleep.

TOPPIN Bendable Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Can You Sneeze in Your Sleep? - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.

This powerful vacuum cleaner is perfect for your home. Even older people can use this with ease, and you can be sure that every corner will be free from dust. This is equipped with a 600W high-power motor and could pick up pet food, crumbs, hair, even shattered glass to name a few. One of its selling points is that it is lightweight. You can also use its brush if you want to clean your sofa, car, or curtains.

Many of its current users are highly satisfied with the product, and they also recommend it to their families and friends. If you have hard-to-reach areas at home, this could be the perfect solution.

Miko Air Purifier For Home Medical Grade

Can You Sneeze in Your Sleep? - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.

Miko Air Purifier has multiple fan speeds. It also features a built-in timer, an essential oil port, and a replacement filter indicator. That means, you can always maximize the air purifier’s capacity. With this, you can ensure that you can filter out pollen, pet dander, smoke, viruses, fungi, and mold, among many others. You don’t have to worry when you purchase this product as they offer a one-year warranty. 

Some of its users shared that the equipment can also clean the air of larger rooms. So if you have a huge space, this could be a good product. And with a peaceful and calming sound, you are to get the best sleep all night.

In addition to the above tools, you might want to change your bed sheets often. You might not notice, but it could accumulate dirt over time. According to most, you should change your bed sheets at least once a week. Others are doing it every two weeks, depending on your daily activities. With this, it’s important that you get quality sheets that can last for a long time even if you throw it into your washing machine.


In a nutshell, sneezing or coughing isn’t possible when you are in a deep sleep. However, certain triggers can wake you up during NREM stage. If this happens all the time, it can also affect your health and your productivity. As much as possible, keep your home or room free from allergens and other particles that could make you sneeze.

The products above could help you eliminate dust and other pollutants. Check it out because these are great investments.

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.