Why Do People Snore?

Snoring is a problem that many people face. Whether it is themself or someone who sleeps near them, the noise can be disruptive for those trying to sleep. But what causes snoring, and how can they stop? 

    People snore when their airway is narrow. When they breathe, the air makes the tissues of the airway vibrate. A narrow airway can be caused by many different things, from smoking to the person’s sleeping position. 

When someone smokes, their airway becomes inflamed, narrowing it. Drinking alcohol or taking sedatives before sleeping could also cause snoring. When the substances relax the airway muscles, it gets smaller, reducing the airflow. Consuming or using these substances could be the cause of someone’s snoring. If they stop or quit, snoring might not occur as often.   

Sleep deprivation and sleeping position can also be a factor in snoring. If someone is losing sleep, when they finally manage to get some, the body will relax deeply. The throat relaxes too much, which narrows the airway, causing snoring. Because of gravity, sleeping position can cause snoring too. The throat is pulled down, and just as an over-relaxed throat does, the air coming in and out causes the tissues to vibrate: snoring. Getting more rest or sleeping on the side could end it.  

Nasal problems, such as congestion and a deviated nasal septum, could cause snoring as well. Congestion clogs the airway and uneven nasal passageways have one smaller than average nostril. Overweightness is another cause, since excess tissue in the throat could narrow the airway. One might also snore because of old age. As people get older, their muscles become weaker, similar to relaxing, but instead of doing it willingly, it is done because there is not enough strength to hold up. These are causes that may or may not be controllable.

All of these can cause or be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where the soft palate, the back of the roof of the mouth, relaxes too much, not allowing air to flow through the mouth. It is dangerous to have such a reduction of oxygen. Sleep apnea reduces the ability to sleep deeply, for the  brain has to constantly force a breath very often.

Snoring can be part of something bigger than it seems, but it may also be something minor that can be fixed quickly. It might be just a turn away.