Overview of catathrenia (moaning in a dream)


What is catathrenia ? Let's set the scene.

In the silence of the night, the person next to you lets out a long, destructive groan. Or you wake up in the morning and they tell you that you've been moaning and groaning all night while sleeping.

Both examples illustrate what happens when someone suffers from catatrenia: they moan and groan in their sleep. This sleep behavior falls under the category of parasomnia or destructive sleep disturbance.

This article explains what catathrenia is, how to diagnose it, and how to treat it.

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Symptoms of moaning during sleep.

Catathrenia means that a person makes a strange sound when exhaling while sleeping. The noises are similar to moans or groans. Sounds are heard during exhalation (exhalation), but they are also associated with other changes in breathing patterns.

For example, your breathing may slow down, which is called bradypnea . You can also hold your breath for a moment before you begin to moan. Otherwise, there are no obvious signs of shortness of breath.

People who hear these sounds often describe them as persistent moans or moans. It may also appear to be humming, and it may even sound sad or dreary. Noises can be very loud.

Generally, a person with catathrenia does not remember this. When they wake up, they may have a scratchy sore throat, but they probably have no other symptoms. Moans in a dream can be overlooked and no one will notice.


The main symptoms of catathrenia are moaning during sleep. But your breathing may also slow or you may hold your breath before moaning.


Catathrenia often goes to the doctor when it makes so much noise that it bothers other people. This can happen in a college dorm or in the military, or when you are sleeping with someone else for the first time.

Catathrenia often begins in childhood. It affects young men more than women and can last for years. The exact reason is unknown. But the root of the problem is not psychological or psychiatric stress .

A sleep study called a polysomnogram. can make an official diagnosis of catathrenia. This test generally provides a sleep center. The test will show changes in your breathing and may register moaning.

Catathrenia is different from other breathing problems and sleep disorders. Treatment options depend on your condition. Before you are diagnosed with catathrenia, your sleep specialist must rule out other conditions. This includes:

Watch out

Catatraia treatment helps some, but not all. Treatment for this condition is usually directed at the underlying cause. But it is not clear what causes catatraia and why it occurs, so it can be difficult to choose an effective treatment option.

There is a possible link between catatrenia and sleep apnea , a condition in which you briefly stop breathing while you sleep. For this reason, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can help some people. But not all people with catathrenia are treatable.

If the moaning bothers your bed partner a lot, you can use medications that interrupt their REM sleep. The medicine can improve symptoms if moaning occurs during REM sleep.


Catathrenia is a dream that is usually harmless but can wake up other people. This happens when someone is asleep and moans and groans on the exhale. This is different from snoring, which occurs when someone inhales or inhales.

A sleep specialist can help you if you suspect you have catatraia. You will be asked to do a sleep study called a polysomnogram. for a formal diagnosis. From there, you can try different treatment options until you find one that works for you.

Get the word of drug information

If you groan and groan in your sleep, you may have catatraia. You may not even know you have it until someone complains. If that sounds like you, see a sleep specialist. After a proper examination, you can try treatments that will bring peace of mind to your sleep.

Frequently asked questions

  • Yes. It is parasomnia, sleep disturbance with physical actions or experiences that you cannot control and that interfere with your sleep. This can cause daytime sleepiness and disturb your sleeping partner.

  • No. While moaning in your sleep may annoy other people, it is generally not safe for you. However, it can lead to restless sleep or awakening. In some cases, your breathing may stop for a short time.

  • Maybe. Researchers have not found the specific genes involved, but about 14% of people with catathrenia have relatives with the condition.

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