When your nose or throat is obstructed as you sleep, the tissues in the way vibrate as air moves in and out. What is produced as a byproduct is what we call snoring. Many individuals who snore have excess amounts of tissue in their throat and nasal passageways. Your tongue obstructing your throat can also cause snoring.
There are quite a few reasons that people snore, so in order to find a solution, you have to identify the source. Here are a few frequent reasons that people snore:
Age. As you grow older, your throat often becomes narrower, and your muscles are no longer as strong. Though you can’t stop aging, you can make changes to your lifestyle that will help you to prevent snoring.
Weight. Carrying fat around your neck and not having toned throat muscles can result in more snoring. You may not even be overweight, but even a significant amount of fat around your neck may cause you to snore more than the average person. Sometimes, the solution to your nightly woes is just to exercise and eliminate some fat.
Body build. Women typically have wider air passages and therefore are not as likely to snore. Longer throats, large adenoids, and similar things that may make an impact to how you snore are usually inherited. Just as you cannot control how you age, you cannot control the way your body is built. However, some lifestyle changes may make a difference.
Nasal and sinus issues. Obstructed airways make breathing challenging. There is sometimes a vacuum made in the throat, resulting in snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications. How much you drank last Friday night could impact how much you snore. Additionally, whether you smoke or take relaxing drugs such as lorazepam or diazepam can have an effect.
Sleeping position. When you sleep on your back, the muscles in the back of your throat relax and often obstruct your airway. Sleeping in a different position can sometimes solve this problem.
Snoring can sometimes point to sleep apnea, which is a dangerous sleep disorder when you stop breathing at times during the night. Your sleep usually isn’t too badly affected by snoring, so if you are experiencing major exhaustion and sleepiness during the day, you could be suffering from sleep apnea or something else. Make an appointment with your doctor if you see any indication of the following:
- You snore loudly and are often exhausted throughout the day
- You stop breathing or choke as you sleep
- You fall asleep during seemingly normal activities (eg. while talking or eating)