Catathrenia is a form of parasomnia that was discovered in 1983 by a group of Belgium scientists. Parasomnia is described as a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal occurrences such as movements, behaviors, and emotions.
People with this disorder tend to experience nocturnal groaning during the different sleep cycles. This primarily occurred during the REM cycle of sleep and it is typically followed by slow and deep breathing. This disorder typically happens when you are in a deep slumber and are steady, not restless. This disorder has been known to be less prevalent when the person is restless with tossing and turning in their sleep.
The groaning that is caused by Catathrenia is unlike snoring because it occurs while you exhale as opposed to snoring which occurs during inhalation. Catathrenia is most commonly referred to as a sleep related breathing disorder that is harmless in nature. This disorder tends to affect more males then females and can start at any age. It can be caused by high stress levels, an obstruction of breathing that causes a forced exhalation and damage to the parts of the brain that control breathing. Each groan can last up to 30 seconds long, and continual bouts of groaning tend to go on for as long as an hour at a time. Depending on how intense the groaning gets the person may arise the next morning with a sore throat. This can easily be resolved with a simple throat lozenge.
As of right now there is limited information on this disorder because there has been limited research on the subject. This is due to it not being medically dangerous yet. You are typically diagnosed for this disorder by either a sleep study or by describing your symptoms to the doctor and having most of the symptoms match Catathrenia. This disorder does tend to be more of a social irritation instead of being medically dangerous, which is why most people can live their whole lives without even realizing they have it.
If you do find yourself being diagnosed with Catathrenia and are looking for a treatment plan, you are limited to mainly 3 different options. Those options include: getting a CPAP machine, getting surgery, or having the person annoyed by the noise wear earplugs. A CPAP machine is a specialized machine that delivers air into your airways through your nasal cavity. It is a mask to be worn while you sleep and is known for helping with most parasomnia disorders. In conclusion, this may be an annoying disorder that causes you to awkwardly groan and moan in your sleep when you exhale but it isn’t hazardous to your health by any means and can be resolved with ear plugs easily, if your partner can’t tolerate it.