Snoring is the result of vibrations in your nose and throat. It is a common phenomenon, affecting almost everyone at some point in their lives. For many, snoring is a passing nuisance, while for others, it can be a chronic condition that disrupts their sleep and those around them. If you find yourself snoring loudly and consistently, it can also indicate underlying medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
Common snoring causes are the relaxation of the muscles in your mouth and throat (which causes the airways to vibrate), and obstructions in the nasal passage, such as a deviated septum. These can be caused by either your anatomy or lifestyle habits. If it is the latter, there are a variety of lifestyle changes that can help reduce snoring, as well as a range of snoring home remedies and snoring solutions that can reduce snoring, such as the use of an anti-snoring device.
There are a variety of reasons for snoring at night, some of which are caused by the snorer’s anatomy. Breathing causes air to pass through your nose, mouth, and throat. Blockages in any of these areas can cause your soft palate, tonsils, adenoids, or tongue to vibrate, creating snoring. For many people, their upper airways relax when they fall asleep, which can cause a partial blockage of air. This creates the well-known, hoarse sound of snoring.
Being significantly overweight can also increase the likelihood of snoring. This is because the extra weight can put added pressure on your airways, obstructing airflow and increasing the rattling sounds. Snoring can also be the result of certain shapes of your nose or jaw. These structural differences can cause decreased size of airways and increased snoring. Swelling of soft tissues is another anatomical cause for snoring.
Snoring is often associated with other medical conditions. Some conditions that are associated with snoring are hypothyroidism or acromegaly.
There are many lifestyle choices that can trigger or increase the likelihood of snoring. Alcohol consumption before bed is a common cause of snoring, as it relaxes the muscles around your airways, causing louder and more audible vibrations. This is also true for other sedatives, including the use of antihistamines or sleeping pills.
Your sleeping position can also greatly impact your snoring. Many people who snore sleep on their back. Sleeping on your back often decreases airflow, and when your tongue relaxes, it can block your airway. Changing your sleeping position to a lateral position, such as on your side, can reduce the sound and frequency of snoring.
Smoking can also cause snoring, as it inflames and irritates the tissues in your airways. Quitting smoking can ease the irritation and diminish the chances of snoring. Lastly, sleep deprivation or not getting enough sleep is another common snoring cause.
No, snoring is not necessarily indicative of a health issue. It can, however, disrupt the quality of your sleep and also disrupt your partner's sleep. Chronic snoring, on the other hand, can be a sign of sleep apnea, which can be a serious condition requiring professional help.
Snoring causes a dry throat and excessive sleepiness during the day, but it is not considered itself a dangerous condition. However, it can be a sign of a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, which is commonly associated with snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by breaks in breathing and loud snoring, can have serious health repercussions if it is left untreated. Fortunately, there are many methods used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, including a CPAP for snoring.
There are a variety of risk factors that can cause the sudden onset of snoring. If you have suddenly started snoring, think about whether you have recently started drinking, taking new medications, gained weight, or changed sleeping position. If you are consistently snoring loudly, and also feeling fatigued during the day, it is important to see a medical professional to rule out sleep apnea.
The most common reason for occasional snoring is a blocked nose caused by allergies, or a cold that blocks the nose. This is a temporary issue that usually passes with the infection or blockage.
There are a multitude of factors that can make you snore. Snoring causes can differ, but are typically related in some form to the narrowing or blocking of airways. This blocking is often caused by your anatomy, lifestyle choices or having a cold or sinus infection, or a combination of these.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.