Catathrenia is a medical name for groaning when sleeping. People with this condition groan long and sometimes loudly when they breathe out. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and deep sleep are the most common times for this to take place. Catathrenia is increasingly categorized as a sleep-related respiratory disorder, like sleep apnea. Catathrenia is not linked to any medical danger or emotional or bodily distress during sleep.
Previously, catathrenia was considered parasomnia. Catathrenia does not involve babbling or other forms of gibberish while one is sleeping.
According to specialists, catathrenia shares traits with both parasomnias and breathing abnormalities associated with sleep. Catathrenia is rarely recognized by the person making the sound and poses a little physical risk. Catathrenia causes a large amount of disruption for the person sleeping next to the patient and is linked to subjective reductions in the quality of sleep.
Catathrenia is characterized by these symptoms:
- Long murmurs or groans when sleeping, usually on the exhalation.
- Periods of bradypnea, or delayed breathing.
- This condition happens in one or more phases, most often during REM sleep (rapid eye movement), but not always.
Catathrenia is rarely linked with poor sleep patterns. It is extremely detrimental to the sleeper’s bed companion, who experiences sleep deprivation. Knowing this can cause the sleeper to suffer from humiliation, self-consciousness, and fear about their partner’s health, among other things.
Breathing tends to become slower during catathrenia events. This is in contrast to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which causes many delays in respiration during the night.
However, similar to OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea), catathrenia is occasionally accompanied by daytime tiredness and morning sore throat, indicating that even if a person is unaware of sleep interruptions, catathrenia may prevent them from getting a complete, restorative night’s sleep.
In addition to groaning, catathrenia can cause a wide range of physical symptoms such as:
- Dry mouth from breathing through the mouth.
- Morning headache or drowsiness.
- A little decrease in oxygen saturation while sleeping.
There is still a dearth of understanding about the elements that cause catathrenia. It is stated that catathrenia is not synonymous with expiratory snoring. Acoustic study reveals that snoring and catathrenia have quite different acoustic sources: the former is laryngeal, while the latter is guttural.
This disease is mostly caused by dysfunctional neurons in the respiratory area of the brain, resulting in groaning or moaning exhalations. Narrow jaws and small airways in the upper body also have a role in causing catathrenia. Some doctors believe there is a genetic component to catathrenia, as some persons with the disorder have a close family who also suffers from this condition.
Catathrenia, like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is successfully treated with CPAP therapy. Adults with catathrenia are the only ones who use CPAP. The way CPAP therapy works is by using either a tube with tiny prongs or a nasal cannula that goes inside the nostrils or a thin, pliable tube to transfer airflow from a bedside compressor to a mask that patients wear over the mouth and nose.
Using a CPAP machine while sleeping can help keep in opening the airways. Some persons with catathrenia have found it to be beneficial, while others have found it to not affect their symptoms.
Other potential therapies for catathrenia include a tailored oral appliance that maintains the jaw and tongue in the correct posture to prevent airway blockage. For certain individuals, throat surgery to remove extra tissue may be beneficial.
When it comes to catathrenia, there are no pharmaceuticals or home remedies that can treat or cure it, but there are basic techniques that can be followed to increase the likelihood of having a restful night’s sleep:
- Be consistent with the sleeping and waking schedules.
- Avoid drinking caffeine before bed.
- Rest in a dark, cold room.
- Utilize a cushion that offers adequate neck support.
- If feasible, exercise in the morning.