Snoring: Possible Causes of Snoring


Snoring is a sound produced by vibration of the soft tissues of the upper airway during sleep. You snore when the flow of air as you breathe makes the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate. The sound most often occurs as you breathe in air, and can come through the nose, mouth or a combination of the two. Habitual snoring is common, occurring in 44% of males and 28% of females who are between 30 and 60 years of age in the general population. Occasional snoring is almost universal.

There are various causes of snoring. Some of them are listed below.

  • Mouth Anatomy: People with a long soft palate or uvula or those with enlarged tonsils, are more probable to snore.
  • Overeating and/or Lack of Exercises: Fat can build up around the throat, narrowing your airway and hence causing you to snore.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol relaxes your throat muscle during sleep, obstructing your airway.
  • Sleeping Pills: Prescription drugs such as sleeping pills have affects similar to alcohol.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat causing swelling and catarrh. It results in irritation in breathing.
  • Sleeping Position: The gravity on the upper airway is responsible for snoring and it depends on the sleeping position.
  • Allergy: It is the result of nasal hypersensitivity or hyperactivity. The lining of the nose and throat swells, making you snore.
  • Mouth Breather: If you breathe with your mouth open, you will probably snore.
  • Small or Collapsing Nostrils: These are the reasons why people find it difficult to breathe through the nose while sleeping.
  • Nasal Stuffiness: Due to this, we tend to breathe with our mouths open to compensate for not being able to breathe through our noses.
  • Menopause: Fluctuations in hormone level make the women snore.

Now that you know the causes, it won’t be difficult for you to make some few necessary changes to help you stop snoring. We’ve outlined a few to make your task easier:

  • Exercise to tone up your body and lose the excess fat.
  • Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills as much as possible.
  • Cut down on smoking.
  • Schedule a proper sleeping pattern.
  • Find yourself a comfortable sleeping position which also helps you with the habit of snoring.
  • Listed below are some of the remedies that can be beneficial in getting rid of snoring.
  • If nasal congestion is causing you to snore, take a decongestant or antihistamine before you sleep.
  • Tape your nose open with nasal strips which are easily available.
  • Dry air can contribute to snoring. A humidifier or steam vaporiser can keep your bedroom air moist.
  • You’re more likely to snore if you’re lying on your back. So try sleeping on your sides.
  • If you snore because of some allergy, get it treated.
  • Stop smoking. It damages the respiratory system.
  • Avoid caffeine and healthy meals two hours prior to sleep to cut down on snoring.
  • Elevate the head of your bed to clear the air passages.

The points discussed above can help you stop snoring. But if you’re a heavy snorer, make sure to contact your physician at the earliest. Heavy snoring can lead to major gaps in breathing, headaches and many other major problems which aren’t good for health and can be even dangerous at times. Follow the points above and curb the snores.

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Sophia Williams
Sophia Williams is a health writer. She writes on many health issues such as weight loss, joint pain, back pain etc. She is a guest contributor at