Why do people snore? Sometimes when you see someone sleeping while on the train and snoring, you want to ask why people snore? The problem is that most of the people that snore can snore just about anywhere they are sleeping.
If your partner snores while you are both on the bed, it will be difficult for you to sleep or enjoy your sleep. You begin to ask why do people snore and what causes snoring. Well, you are not alone. If your partner snores or you snore, there are ways to stop snoring.
When you snore, structure in your throat and mouth – uvula, soft palate, tongue, and upper throat – vibrate against adenoids and tonsils. There are several possible causes of snoring. People that are overweight are more likely to snore because the extra fatty tissue compresses the air passage.
Symptoms of snoring
Snoring is often associated with sleep disorders known as OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). But not all snorers have OSA. However, if snoring is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, you may need to see a doctor to evaluate you for OSA:
- Restless sleep
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
- Choking or gasping at night
- Sore throat upon awakening
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring that disrupts partner’s sleep
- Chest pain at night
- Witnessed breathing pauses during sleep
- In children, poor performance in school, poor attention span or behavioral issues
OSA is often characterized by loud snoring followed by periods of silence when breathing nearly stops or stops. Eventually, the pause or reduction in breathing may cause you to wake up with a loud snort or gasping sound.
This may cause you to sleep lightly because of disrupted sleep. Breathing pause may be repeated several times during the night. People with sleep apnea usually experience periods when breathing stops or slows at least 5 times during every hour of sleep.
What causes snoring? / reasons for snoring
If you want to know what causes snoring, there are a number of factors that can cause snoring. Sinuses and anatomy of your mouth, allergies, your weight, a cold and alcohol consumption are all what causes snoring.
When you progress from light sleep to deep sleep, your mouth roof’s muscles (soft palate), throat and tongue relax. So the tissues in your throat can relax to the extent that they partially block the airway and vibrate.
When your airway is narrow, the airflow will become forceful. This increases tissue vibration and causes your snoring to grow louder.
Here are the conditions that affect the airway and causes snoring:
#1. Anatomy of your mouth
If you have low, thick soft palate, it can narrow your airway. Overweight people may have extra tissues in the back of the throats that may possibly narrow their airways. Also, if the triangular tissue hanging from your soft palate (uvula) is elongated, your airflow is likely to be obstructed and increase vibration.
#2. Nasal issues
If you have chronic nasal congestion or a crooked partition between your nostrils (i.e. deviated nasal septum), it may contribute to your snoring.
#3. Alcohol consumption
If you consume too much alcohol before bedtime, you are likely to snore. Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles and reduces your natural defenses against airway obstruction.
#4. Sleep position
You are likely to snore if you sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back has gravity’s effect on the throat because it narrows the airway.
#5. Sleep deprivation
If you are not getting enough sleep, it can lead to throat relaxation and causes you to snore.
The people of middle age and beyond are more likely to snore because as you grow older, your throat becomes narrower, and the throat’s muscle tone decreases. While you can’t do anything about growing older, you can change your lifestyle, do throat exercise and create new bedtime routines to prevent snoring.
Risk factors (reasons for snoring)
Here are risk factors that may contribute to reasons for snoring:
- Having a narrow airway: If you have a long soft palate or large adenoids or tonsils that narrow your airway, you are likely to snore.
- Being a man: Men have sleep apnea than women and are more likely to snore.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcohol increases the risk of snoring because it relaxes the throat muscles.
- Being overweight: Obese or overweight people are likely to snore or have obstructive sleep apnea.
- Obstructive sleep apnea or have a family history of snoring: Heredity is also one of the reasons for snoring. If some of your ancestors snore, you are more likely to also snore.
- Having nasal issues: If your airway has a structural defect, such as the chronically congested nose, or deviated septum, your risk of snoring is high.
Linking what causes snoring to the cure
To pinpoint the reasons for snoring, what makes it worse and how to stop it, you need to monitor your snoring pattern. Your sleep partner can help you fill your sleeping diary to know this. But if you sleep alone, set up a camera to record your sleeping pattern at night.
Snoring remedies that work
Try these snoring remedies to reduce or eliminate snoring:
#1. Elevate the head of your bed
One easy snoring remedy is to raise the head of your bed. Place several two-by-eights or two-by-tens flat boards under the legs at the top end of your bed. Doing this will help you raise the head of the bed and help you solve your snoring problems.
#2. Use extra pillow
Get a few extra pillows to prop you up in bed, rather than lying on the flat back. This will prevent the tissues in your throat from falling into the airway.
#3. Sleep on your side instead of your back
No one can guarantee that he/she will sleep on their side throughout the night, but you can at least start on your side while having your arms wrapped around a pillow. Sleeping on your back makes your soft palate and tongue rest against the back of your throat and block the airway.
#4. Use nasal strips to tape your nose open
Nasal strips may look odd, but no one is watching you. Follow the direction on the package, tape one to the outside of your nose before you sleep off. They will help you increase airflow. However, if nasal congestion is one of the reasons for snoring, take antihistamine or decongestant before you sleep.
#5. Try tennis ball trick
If you want to avoid sleeping on your back, try sewing tennis ball. Sew a little pouch on the back of your pajama top and put a tennis ball inside. When you sleep and roll on your back, you will get a nudge from the tennis ball, prompting you to sleep on your side.
#6. Use a neck brace
Sounds extreme? Lots of people have used a neck brace to stop their snoring. It helps to keep your chin extended so the throat does not bend and the airway stays open. No need to use a plastic neck brace; a foam brace is less restraining and works well. You can get it from any medical supply store or drug store.
#7. Shrink your throat and nose lining with peppermint mouthwash
You will love this if your snoring is caused by an allergy or cold. To mix up the herbal gaggle, add 1 drop of peppermint oil to 1 glass of water (Don’t swallow, but gaggle).
#8. Drink tea
If your snoring is seasonal and you are allergic to pollen, drinking up to 3 cups of tea made from the herb known as stinging nettle can help. The tea is recommended by herbalists for soothing inflammation caused by pollen allergies.
Here is how to make the tea:
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried leaf to 1 cup boiling water.
- Cover the tea and allow steeping for 5 minutes and then strain and drink.
- One cup before going to bed is ok.
#9. Pay attention to your allergies
It makes sense to reduce your bedroom allergens such as mold, pet dander or dust to alleviate nasal congestion. Vacuum your drapes and floors, and change your bed sheets and pillowcases often.
#10. Quit smoking
Smoking irritates your mucous membranes, narrowing the airway. Smoking also causes nasal congestion, so avoid smoking.
#11. Lose weight
If you are weighty, you need to lose weight by around 10% of your body to free your airway.
#12. Stay well hydrated
Drink lots of fluids. Secretions in the nose and soft palate get stickier when you are dehydrated. This can cause you to snore. Research showed that men should drink 16 cups of fluids a day and women should drink 11 cups of water a day.
Exercise can reduce your snoring, even if such exercise doesn’t lead to weight loss. When you tone muscles in your body such as legs, abs, and arms, it leads to toning the muscles of your throat and may cause you to snore less. Here are six exercises that can strengthen your throat’s muscle.
#14. Avoid sedatives, sleeping pills, and alcohol
These things relax throat’s muscles and interfere with breathing. Talk to a doctor though.
#15. Don’t eat large meal 3 hours before going to bed
Research showed eating large meals or certain foods like soymilk or dairy 3 hours before bedtime can make snoring worse.
#16. Correct structural problem in your nose
Some people have deviated septum, which restricts airflow. It may cause snoring. That is why getting surgery to correct the condition is important. Talk to your doctor.
#17. Get enough sleep
Always sleep for 7 to 8 hours recommended sleep hour each night. Here is how to sleep properly.
How to live with a snoring partner?
If you don’t snore but your partner does, there is a chance that you are not getting enough sleep. Before your relationship hit the rock, consider the solutions below. After all, it has happened to some couples and partners in the past, but they survived.
- Earplugs: They are comfortable once you get accustomed to them
- Sleep before your spouse: sleeping before your spouse or partner will help you sleep comfortably.
- White-noise: These devices produce a consistent sound that muffles other noises.
There are several reasons for snoring and snoring can be annoying as it disrupts your partner’s sleep. Besides being annoying, it may also indicate a serious health condition. Trying some of the snoring remedies above may help solve the problem.
If none of the above remedies for snoring work, you may see a doctor to know what causes snoring. And find a lasting solution to it.