Snoring is actually a very broad category that includes any form of noisy breathing during sleep. Snoring affects millions of Americans on a regular basis and can affect the quality of your sleep and those around you.
But, what causes snoring?
When you sleep, your body enters a state of deep relaxation, even the tissues of your throat relax. When relaxed, minor obstructions can occur which cause these tissues to vibrate as air passes by them while you breathe. These vibrations create the sounds that we would call a snore.
Why do people snore?
It turns out the question, “Why do people snore?”, really depends on which person you are talking about. There are a number of factors that impact how likely it is that someone will snore:
- Breathing through the mouth, as opposed to breathing through the nose, increases the likelihood of snoring.
- Certain sleeping positions can also cause snoring, especially sleeping on your back, because they can lead to potential obstructions.
- Alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of snoring, because it acts as a powerful muscle relaxant.
- Any anatomical abnormalities in the nose and throat or inflammation due to illness can potentially cause snoring.
- Snoring is more prevalent in older people, as our throat muscles typically relax more with age.
- Obesity also increases the likelihood of snoring, due to the increased presence of tissue around the throat.
Should I be Worried?
While many causes of snoring that do not indicate any serious health issues, you should be aware that loud snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea results when airflow is completely cut off and breathing ceases for 10 – 20 seconds. Sleep apnea is typically marked by daytime sleepiness, headaches, waking up repeatedly gasping or experiencing shortness of breath, and other symptoms. Sleep apnea is a serious condition and you should consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns.
If snoring is a problem for you or your loved ones, try one of these anti-snoring devices. These products address many different causes of snoring, so it is important to identify which one might work best for you. Snoring can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, so consider trying one of these snoring solutions!