Snoring is an extremely common problem that may not necessarily affect those who do it, but can have a very negative effect on partners who are woken during the night. Snoring doesn’t usually represent a serious health problem, and there are a wide variety of snoring causes. In general, the sound we hear from snoring comes about when air does not move freely through the air passages, causing the back of the mouth to vibrate. Here’s a quick guide to the most common causes of this problem.
1) Being Overweight
One of the most common snoring causes is being overweight. This increases the chances that you’ll snore due to extra fat around the neck and throat. Relaxed muscle tone in the area stops the air from flowing through the passages freely. This is more common for men than women, due to the way a man’s body stores fat.
2) Alcohol and Medication
When you drink alcohol or take certain medicines, such as sleeping pills, the muscles in your body will relax. This includes the throat, mouth and nose, blocking the air passages and making them more likely to vibrate. Avoiding alcohol at least four hours before you go to bed can help ease the problem.
Smoking irritates the nasal cavity and throat linings, causing swelling and congestion. In turn this decreases airflow and makes it difficult to breathe through your nose. The more you smoke, the more congested you will become.
4) Your Sleeping Position
Another of the most common snoring causes is down to sleeping position. Some people may snore when they lie on their back, and not when they lie on their side. This position causes your tongue to fall backwards, blocking the airways.
Allergies are becoming increasingly common and cause a number of symptoms such as nasal congestion (which leads to snoring). There are various treatments available depending on the specific allergies you may suffer from.
6) Breathing Through The Mouth
If you breathe through your mouth when you’re asleep then you’re far more likely to snore, due to the way the air enters and hits the back of the mouth. There are ways to train yourself to breathe through your nose, including specialist devices.
7) A Mixture Of Causes
Many people find a mixture of factors behind their snoring. It may be a combination of the above causes, or other less common factors could be at work.
Snoring treatment always starts with understanding the reason why you do it in the first place. In most cases treatment can begin at home once you’ve determined your snoring causes. If the problem won’t go away then it’s important to visit a doctor for advice.