I have a snoring girlfriend. To interrupt her snoring, I make a sound similar to the very brief sound gas makes when opening a soda can or bottle (had a snoring brother, I know this technique works very well):
Here is a recording of the slound: https://instaud.io/3hJH
Sometimes her snoring wakes me up in the middle of the night (eg 3AM), so I make that sound, and she immediately wakes up and asks me from a very clear and aware voice: "why did you just pshiiished me?".
The sound I make is around 150 ms long, so I don't understand how someone who is being awakened and transitioning from sleep into consciousness would have the ability to distinctively recognize it.
Sometimes she'll even complain that I interrupted a nice dream she was in, which leads me to believe her sleep level was quite deep.
Can someone explain how a snoring/dreaming person can be awakened by a very brief sound (~ 150 ms long) and be able to distinctively recognize that sound as she transitions from sleep into consciousness?