We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Does Your Heart Really Stop for an Instant When You Sneeze?

Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

We all get the urge to sneeze from time to time. When you stop to think about it, sneezing is quite a bizarre sensation that affects numerous parts of your body. While one of the most popular questions about sneezing is whether it's possible to sneeze with your eyes open (yes, it is, though you'll have to work hard to do it, and it's probably not a great idea), have you ever wondered about the effect a sneeze has on your heart?

It's been suggested that the human heart stops for an instant whenever we sneeze, but this is essentially a myth. What actually happens is that when you sneeze, your heart may change its regular rhythm to adjust to the pressure, but its electrical activity does not stop.

Before we sneeze, we take a deep breath, which reduces blood flow to the heart and increases our pulse. Pressure builds in the abdomen as the throat closes up, preparing for the sneeze. When the sneeze finally occurs, we release that built-up pressure. Blood flow to the heart increases along with blood pressure, and our heart rate decreases. It is this blood flow and pressure change that causes the brief change in our heart’s regular rhythm, but medical professionals say that, in the vast majority of cases, it’s nothing to worry about.

So what's with sneezing, anyway? Sneezing is the body’s natural way of getting rid of unwanted materials like pollen and dust from the respiratory tract. Of course, sneezing can sometimes be a symptom of various illnesses, as well. It often occurs when we are sick with the common cold, allergic rhinitis, or the flu. Medical attention may be required if you experience any uncommon symptoms after a sneeze, such as dizziness, nausea, or fainting.

Ah...ah...ah....choo!

  • An extremely rare condition known as sneeze syncope can cause a person to faint after sneezing. This condition causes an extreme decrease in blood pressure and heart rate following a sneeze.

  • Donna Griffiths from Worcestershire, England, holds the record for longest sneezing episode, sneezing once every minute for 978 days. She began sneezing in July 1981 and finally stopped in September 1983.

  • We don’t sneeze when we sleep because the nerves involved are also at rest.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.