One question often asked by those who snore excessively or have a partner who does so is, “why do people snore?” The reason this question is so important is that in order to help solve your snoring problems, you should first understand why do people snore. After you understand the most common causes of snoring, you should then be able to determine exactly what is causing your snoring so you can do something to help eliminate the problem.
Causes of Snoring
There are actually different types of snoring, and the actual problem that causes the snoring depends on the specific type of snoring. Still, generally speaking, most snoring comes from obstructions of the airways in the nose and throat.
For those whose snoring mainly emanates from the nose, the cause is usually problems with the nasal passages. Some individuals have smaller than normal nasal passages which restrict the amount of air that can pass through resulting in snoring. When a person has to exert more force to inhale through their nostrils, snoring often results as one or both nostrils close partly when too much force is needed to breathe properly.
If your snoring mainly emanates from your mouth or throat, the problem is most likely related to the soft tissue in your mouth, including the tongue, uvula, and soft palate. When a person sleeps, their body and muscles relax, and this relaxing of the muscles in the mouth can cause this soft tissue to obstruct the airway at the back of the throat. This is especially true when sleeping on your back, as the tissue often collapses back into the throat and restricts the airflow.
These obstructions can also lead to a condition known as obstructive sleepapnea. Sleepapnea is a condition where a person stops breathing for short periods of time during the night, before eventually being woken up by the lack of oxygen. This condition is thought to affect somewhere around 30% of adults and can lead to many more serious health problems, so it’s important to undergo a sleep study if you snore night after night. This study will help determine whether you are suffering from simple snoring or if the snoring is being caused by sleepapnea or another sleeping disorder.
One of the major factors that lead to excessive snoring is being significantly overweight. When you are overweight, you store extra fat in deposits around the chest and throat which press in on the airways and cause restrictions in airflow by making it necessary to exert much more force in order to breathe normally.
Another factor that leads to snoring is drinking alcohol within a few hours of going to sleep. Alcohol suppresses our normal breathing functions and also causes the body to relax even more during sleep. These two factors together lead to a significant increase in snoring. So, if you snore constantly, you might want to consider abstaining from alcohol for at least a few hours before going to bed.
No matter what the cause of your snoring is, the result is always the same. Snoring severely degrades your quality of sleep and can lead to sleep deprivation, which makes it difficult to concentrate and leaves a person feeling constantly fatigued. This problem continues to worsen over time, so it’s important to take care of your snoring problems before they lead to more serious health issues.