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July 3, 2006 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Hiccup! Why do I hiccup during sleep?

2 or 3 times a month I wake up in the middle of the night with the hiccups. My wife says it happens more frequently and I don't wake up. I have found no correlation to foods I've eaten or my sleep patterns, but I have not done any serious baseline data gathering.

I guess the "why" isn't the real question, since there appears to be no reason to hiccup in the first place. I'm more interested to hear if this happens with anyone else.

FYI - I do not have sleep apnea, and I take no medications. I'm mid-30s and overweight if that matters.

Also, I'm not interested in home remedies to get rid of the hiccups. I already have one that works like a charm.
posted by Jesco to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
well, webmd claims that hiccups are caused by the following:

"-Eating too much food too quickly.
-Drinking too much alcohol.
-Swallowing too much air.
-A sudden change in stomach temperature, such as drinking a hot beverage and then a cold beverage.
-Emotional stress or excitement."

i have also heard many times that they are symptom of acid reflux. i know you said you don't associate them with anything you have eaten, but do you ever get heartburn or any other symptoms of gastro problems? it would explain why they happen when you sleep, since many of those problems are more irritated during sleep.
posted by starbaby at 7:16 PM on July 3, 2006

I'm not a doctor, or even remotely qualified, but starbaby's post had another idea:

-Swallowing too much air.

Wouldn't the hiccups, then, be similar to snoring, in a way? Granted, I've never inhaled too much air and hiccuped, but it seems entirely feasible to me that you'd be a lot less conscious of how much air you were breathing in while sleeping? (Again, this is 100% speculation and 0% knowledge.)

Emotional stress or excitement

This is my other guess. I woke myself up by screaming in horror as a snake crawled up on my leg. Of course, the snake was only in a dream. Do you recall dreams when you wake up hiccuping?

Again, these are all wild guesses.
posted by fogster at 7:26 PM on July 3, 2006

Response by poster: Occasionally I have acid reflux problems when I sleep, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Thanks for your answers.
posted by Jesco at 5:09 AM on July 4, 2006

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