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Honk!: I'm Awake Now

mullymully Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello there.

I have a strange sleep-related problem:

I honk.

Yeah, you heard me. I honk.

I should mention that this has only started happening since about 2 weeks after my boyfriend moved in with me, but that seems like it would be a strange thing to be related to. (Also, this has happened during my lunch-hour nap at work, as well, so I know it's not a 'mating-call' Honk! nor a 'get out of my personal space' Honk!)

I'll be going to sleep, as per usual; on my side, back, whatever (I've tried going to sleep in different positions to see if it would counter the honking), and juuuust as I'm about to start dreaming, I am awakened by an awkward normal-voice-volumed "HONK!". And it is me. I am the one honking. Just a quick "honk" and then I'm startled awake.

You'd think that this would just be amusing -- don't get me wrong, I (and the boyfriend, thankfully) laugh at it after I'm awake -- but it scares the ever-living crap out of me when it happens. It also cheats me out of sleep, since I have to start the whole 'falling asleep' process all over again.

So, H/A -- is this normal? Does this happen to anyone else? Is there any way to stop this? Is this some kind of sleep disorder? Was I a goose in a past life?

Note: I used to suffer from sleep paralysis, if that means anything to anyone. (Though I haven't had issues with that in about 3 years now.) It's like the Sleep Gods don't want me in their world at ALL now, instead of trying to keep me in it. Assholes, make up your minds.

mully on

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    Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This reminds me of that common sleep-affliction where, right as you are about to fall asleep, one of your legs has a violent spasm and startles you awake.

    Happens to me semi-regularly.

    No idea what causes it or how to fix it though. :|

    Smug Duckling on
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    VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I think everyone has that reaction you describe, SD. I don't think that's what she means though.

    One of my friends had a mild disorder where she would... um... "burst" out with a very audible "MEHHHP!" every once in a while. People who didn't know her were startled and confused, but we just got used to it. It sounds like the same noise that you are hearing/making. Except she did this awake. It could be similar, but I forget the freaking name of the condition...

    She was a perfectly normal person otherwise.

    VeritasVR on
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    PulvaanPulvaan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I think you're referring to Tourette's. I don't think this is what Mully has. My sister talks loudly in her sleep, sometimes she wakes herself up, maybe its something like that.

    Pulvaan on
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    mad4drpeppermad4drpepper Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well so long as it doesn’t affect your breathing, then one could assume that it's okay. You just may have a abnormal thingy in your throat/nasal pathway?


    Oh man that spasm thing! What in the hell is up with that? I hate that so much.

    mad4drpepper on
    Making the world taste better one can at a time. :winky:
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    PulvaanPulvaan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have that RLS thing too. Bugs the crap out of me, I don't know if its enough to make me want to take the meds for it though. It only happens sometimes.

    Pulvaan on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Do you actually like, say the word honk?

    If you just make a weird sound, maybe it's a sinus issue?

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    SpeakeasySpeakeasy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Perhaps you are being posessed by Whippy.

    There was someone I knew that would wake up with a yell every time. He changed his sleeping position and pillow and no more yelling. Not saying it will work for you, but yeah.

    Speakeasy on
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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I don't honk, but sometimes I wake up to the sound of myself grumbling/mumbling/moaning.

    It MIGHT be related to blocked airways, in which case you might try sleeping with one of those nasal strips that opens up your nose for better breathing.

    Houk the Namebringer on
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    DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    sounds like a kind of snoring to me. Is it restricted air flow through your nose that makes the honky sound? maybe try a nasal dilator or something. though those look hella uncomfortable.

    DiscoZombie on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    After careful consideration of your circumstances, I've determined the cause of your problem: you're a honky.

    Seriously, though, when I had sleep apnea, sometimes my nighttime gasps and snores would sound like a honk.

    How's your healthcare situation? Can you see a doctor and get a sleep study done?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

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    mullymully Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I don't snore, I don't have any breathing issues at all, either. The "honk" -- I'm calling it a honk because it literally sounds like a goose's honk -- slightly higher pitched though. Lady goose. It sounds like I am pushing hard to say something but "honk" is all that comes out. You'll have to trust me that it's not any kind of a breathing issue. If it were grumbling or groaning, I probably wouldn't care so much -- it's just so freaking abrupt, and only happens once. It's not like a "sound ... sound ... sound ... honk, awake" -- it's just.. HONK!, awake.

    mully on
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    DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    well, I'm no doctor, but I can't think of anything besides a breathing obstruction or sleep apnea that would cause such a noise...

    sleep apnea is basically a condition where you stop breathing for a few seconds during sleep, and generally, you then gasp and wake up. and if your nose is clogged or whatever, all sorts of sounds can happen while air tries to escape your nose - not just stereotypical snoring =p

    but it sounds like you're saying it's just psychological. can't help you there.

    DiscoZombie on
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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It sounds like sleep apnea. My ex had that problem; he'd basically shout when his breathing came back after stopping for a few seconds.

    Try getting your boy to stay awake while you're falling asleep to see if you stop breathing for a bit?

    Trowizilla on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    If you're absolutely sure you're not having breathing problems (such problem can be subtle), it does sound a little like a vocal version of a hypnagogic jerk - the thing that Smug Duckling was talking about where your muscles jerk right as you're falling asleep.

    There seems to be an association between sleep paralysis and hypnagogic phenomena (jerks, hallucinations, speech)... but I dunno, grasping at straws here. I still think you see a doctor should get a sleep study done, if you can.

    Or maybe you're just a damn honky. Load your iPod up with some Erykah Badu and Otis Redding, go out to the beach, and soak up some sun.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    GotrGotr Ms. St Louis, MORegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I'm simply going to repeat Feral's post:

    Breathing problems that happen as you're dozing off are often hard to notice. Usually the only sure way to tell is to stay overnight at a lab where you can be watched for sudden stops.

    But if you're really sure that's not the problem, then you probably have hypnagogic sleep problems, which are especially likely if you had sleep paralysis in the past. The best way to test that: stay overnight at a lab.

    tl;dr: Stay overnight at a lab to find out what's wrong with you. Either way, you should figure out.

    Gotr on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Pulvaan wrote: »
    I have that RLS thing too. Bugs the crap out of me, I don't know if its enough to make me want to take the meds for it though. It only happens sometimes.

    (Not to derail or anything), but just to clarify, that's not RLS.

    http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/restless_legs/detail_restless_legs.htm

    I'm pretty sure that "leg-jerking" motion that happens right before you fall asleep happens to almost everybody. I get that every now and then, myself.

    NightDragon on
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    GotrGotr Ms. St Louis, MORegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    RLS raises the chances of that happening, but it's not a direct kinship.

    Gotr on
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    JustinSane07JustinSane07 Really, stupid? Brockton__BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    After careful consideration of your circumstances, I've determined the cause of your problem: you're a honky.

    I laughed out loud.

    But I would recommend either having your boyfriend watch you sleep or going to a lab. Like everyone else has said, you have no idea what's going before the HONK, so you need someone else to see for you.

    JustinSane07 on
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    UltaruneUltarune Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I'm a sleep technician, and while I've heard many things from sleeping people, I've never heard a honk. However, you are definitely not the correct judge of your sleep, I'd say 60-70% of my patients tell me they "definitely don't have sleep apnea" when they stop breathing 30-50 times an hour. If insurance allows, I'd talk to your doctor and set up a sleep study, or at the least have your boyfriend stay up and watch you sleep for a few hours as has been suggested.

    Ultarune on
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    MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    How long after you've drifted to sleep do you wake yourself up like this? Are you dreaming when it happens?

    Any other changes in behavior?

    What about mild symptoms that have recently surfaced?

    Meiz on
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    DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Here's an important question, which I'm surprised that no one has asked yet: Do you know where the honk is starting? As in the actually source of the noise? Is it in you nasal passages, or is it in your throat? You may not notice at first, but you may feel the after effects when you wake up and be able to tell if, say, your vocal chords had just been active, causing the noise.

    I ask because my mother tended to hum in her sleep very loudly, and it was being caused by vocal chord paralysis, which she didn't even know she had because she could talk normally (they're only partially paralyzed).

    Dalboz on
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    mullymully Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    it's definitely my vocal chords that are making the noise, i know this because of how it feels when i wake up - my immediate thought after the honk is "AHH WHY DID I DO THAT I SHOULDN'T BE TALKING ITS LATE WHY ARENT I ASLEEP"

    to Meiz: the noise occurs, as far as I can tell, right as I'm about to drift into a dream. it's hard to explain, that's just how it feels -- like i am just on the very edge of complete and utter loss of consciousness, but i'm not what one would call 'conscious' -- because if i were, i wouldn't make that noise. i'd know better.

    it's confusing.

    i may indeed ask my doctor about it, if it continues to happen as often as it has been.

    and thank you, ultarune, good to see a pro's opinion in here - that must be an interesting job

    mully on
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    chrzaychrzay Registered User new member
    Hi I know this is so old and I only made an account so I could post a comment to mully because I searched in google "I honk in my sleep" and found this. I do the same exact thing and I would describe the whole situation exactly as you did with the right as your drifting to sleep you are startled awake by yourself honking and the whole time I was reading your posts I was laughing so hard because I've thought the same things you have, like was I goose in my past life. My husband and I crack up about my honking!!
    Have you ever found out what causes it? It's a fairly new thing for me. It sucks but at the same time I find it extremely hilarious!

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    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    When my wife was pregnant she would make a noise just as she fell asleep, it was more of a loud enh! sound, like a spasm of the diaphragm.

    It only ever happened while she was pregnant, and has not happened since. We chalked it up to the awkward positions she had to sleep in, she was normally a belly sleeper, but for obvious reasons had to choose different positions to sleep in.

    It was actually kind of nice for me, as it was like a little alarm that told me right when she had fallen asleep. =)

This discussion has been closed.