What Causes Snoring?
Snoring happens when you can't move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces the snoring sound. Common causes of snoring:
Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. Throat exercises can all help to prevent snoring.
Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone block the way of smooth breathing. Exercising and losing weight can sometimes help to end your snoring.
The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary. The right lifestyle changes, bedtime routines, and throat exercises will help.
Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.
Is Snoring Harmful?
Some may think snoring as sign of good sleep. Unfortunately, snoring not only disrupts your bed partner, but also can be a signal that your airway is blocked. Snoring could indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a serious sleep disorder where your breathing is briefly interrupted many times each night. Call your doctor if you have noticed the following problems:
- You snore loudly and heavily and are tired during the day.
- You stop breathing, grasp, or choke during sleep.
Snoring itself may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Compared with non-snorers, snorers are more likely to experience thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery. These changes in the artery can lead to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that is involved in several vascular diseases.
Snoring is also considered bad because it can disrupt your sleep and lead to many uncomfortable complications, including daytime sleepiness, concentration problems, and an increased likelihood of car accidents.