In general, all snoring is caused by restricted airflow at the back of the throat. The snoring noise comes from the vibrations made as structures in the mouth and throat rub against each other while the air is being forced through. Specifically what causes this restricted air flow varies for everybody. Knowing exactly what causes your snoring is the key to finding the right cure and an end to those sleepless nights bath
Common causes of snoring include the following
Increased age – as we get older, our throat becomes narrower.
Gender – men typically have more narrow air passages than women
Physical attributes that cause narrowing of the airways such as enlarged adenoids.
Medications you are taking that increase muscle relaxation.
Nasal and sinus problems
Sleep posture – we tend to snore more sleeping on back.
Snoring is caused by both structural and functional factors. The structural factors that cause snoring are categorized as obstructions that originate from the nose and obstructions that originate from the throat and the back of the mouth. Obstructions originating from the nose include the following;
Nasal septum deviation
Inflammation of the nasal tissues due to allergies or infection
Obstructions originating from the throat and the back of the mouth include the following;
Enlargement of the soft palate, uvula and/or tonsils
Presence of excessive fatty tissues around the throat
Hereditary physical attributes such as cleft palate
Functional causes of snoring, or those that cause the relaxation of the throat muscles include the following;
Smoking – this not only causes muscle relaxation but also nasal congestion
Milk and dairy product consumption
For some people, snoring is caused by a life threatening disorder called sleep apnea. A person suffering from sleep apnea actually stops breathing several times at night and may not even be aware of it. Sleep apnea is caused when their tongue is sucked against the back of their throat, completely blocking the air flow. They stop breathing until the oxygen level in their brain becomes so low, they instinctively wake up, often with a loud gasp, and air flow begins again. As mentioned before, a person with sleep apnea is often not even aware they have stopped breathing but because of their very disruptive sleep they become chronically fatigued, lack energy and are at an increased risk to suffer from depression.
If snoring is affecting your quality of sleep, contact your doctor and set up an appointment. Life-threatening sleep apnea needs to be diagnosed by a professional in a sleep clinic. There is no point in suffering from snoring, whether it be mild or severe, as there are many remedies available to help you sleep better such as the best snoring mouthpiece or snore guard.