What are the General Causes of Snoring?
Snoring can be caused by a variety of different factors and understanding how these affect you and how to stop them will help you and your partner get better, uninterrupted sleep.
What is Snoring?
Snoring is the rumbling sound that is made while you sleep, caused by your airways having restricted airflow. The air now has a narrower passage to flow through, and this causes the tissues in your nose and throat to vibrate and emit noise.
Snoring is very common, and a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that as many as 44% of men and 28% of women snore on a regular basis. That’s a huge number!
Understanding the factors that cause snoring can help you prevent this from happening every night and can allow you to get more restful sleep on a regular basis.
What Causes Snoring?
Obstruction of Airways
The obstruction of airways is by far the most common cause of snoring. As seen in cases of sleep apnea, this involves your airways being physically blocked, often from the muscles in your neck and throat relaxing when you fall asleep. If you are overweight or have excess fat and tissue around your neck, this can push up against your air passages and cause you to snore.
While this is completely natural and happens frequently, one way to reduce this is to do some exercises to help strengthen your neck muscles and potentially reduce the amount of tissue that can put pressure on your passageways.
Another thing to avoid is alcohol, drugs, and sleeping pills. These can all increase muscle relaxation further, and while they may help you fall asleep will actually cause more pressure on your airways and lead to more snoring.
Nasal and Throat Irritants
Nasal and throat irritation is another factor that can cause snoring. When these airways get irritated, they can become inflamed and, like physical blockage, causes the passageways to be narrowed. If you find that you snore more often during allergy season, this could be the cause of your snoring. Other environmental factors like poor air quality can cause this as well, but this can most likely be combated with allergy medication or by staying indoors.
Smokers increase their risk of snoring, as the smoke physically irritates your airways each time you take a puff. Giving up smoking has many health benefits, and reducing your likelihood is one of them.
Irritation can also be caused by dehydration. If you are not drinking enough water, the natural lubricants in your body are less effective. This can lead to dryness and irritation in your throat, causing you to snore more than usual.
Other Medical Issues
Other physical medical issues like a deviated septum, inflamed tonsils, or a large than average uvula can cause snoring and are much harder to combat. These issues all cause additional blockages in your airways, causing you to snore when you sleep.
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea require also are direct causes of snoring, but fixing these issues will require consultation with a medical professional.