Snoring can be a real problem and it can affect many people’s sleep. It is thought that up to 45% of us snore occasionally and 25% snore habitually. Snoring can disrupt the person snoring’s sleep but also that of their partner or family. But what causes people to snore?
These bothersome noises are caused by the relaxation of the uvula and soft palate.They relax and narrow as your body relaxes while you sleep, partially blocking your airway, resulting in irregular airflow and vibrations which cause the noise.
Snoring is known to cause sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them, as well as daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and decreased libido.
According to wikipedia, the most common causes of snoring are:
- Nasal congestion – this could be due to allergies, the common cold or another viral or bacterial infection and restricts the passage of air during your sleep.
- Mouth Anatomy – such as enlarged tonsils, loose skin in your throat or a long soft palate
- Your Age – many people put on weight as they get older which leads to a narrowing throat. We also lose muscle tone in our throat as we get older.
- Being Overweight – fat around the neck causes your throat to narrow your airway during sleep.
- Sleep Apneoa – snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apneoa where the throat tissue blocks your airway during sleep preventing you to breathe.
- Alcohol or Medication – alcohol, some medications and smoking relax the throat muscles during sleep leading to snoring.
- Sleeping on your back.
For many of us, we can reduce or eliminate snoring by making some lifestyle changes. Take a look at our ‘Guide to Stop Snoring’ article to find out how.
The NHS do recommend you consult your GP about your snoring though if :
- You have made lifestyle changes you make and they are not helping
- your snoring is having a big impact on your or your partner’s life
- you feel sleepy during the day, or make gasping or choking noises while you sleep – you may havesleep apnoea, which can be serious if not treated.