Everyone snores from time to time, but frequent or continuous snoring can rob you of restful sleep, leave you feeling tired the next morning and be irritating to anyone sharing your bed. There are many different causes of snoring and some of these causes may suggest a serious health problem. Snoring occurs due to vibrations of the respiratory structures in your throat. Here is a look at what causes snoring.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which your throat muscles may relax on and off during sleep and obstruct your airway. This condition is not only one of causes for snoring, but can also result in stopping your breathing for short periods of time.
Older people’s throat muscles tend to relax more when they sleep, causing a vibrations when they breathe in and out resulting in snoring. While many older people are quiet snorers their snoring is still disruptive to their own sleep and their partners, since older people tend to sleep lighter than they did when they were younger.
Everyone tends to lose sleep from time to time either due to insomnia, or due to projects that keep you up late nights working. When people are sleep deprived, their muscles tend to relax more when they do fall asleep which often results in snoring.
A deviated septum is a condition when the walls that divide your nostrils are pushed to one side. This can result in the vibrations that leads to snoring. Correcting this problem can cure the person from snoring.
Nasal Polyps are soft growths inside the nostrils that can block off your ability to breath in air, resulting in a vibration that causes snoring. Removal of the polyps can help prevent snoring.
Enlarged Tonsils and/or Adenoids
Enlarged Tonsils and/or Adenoids can also block your airway and cause the vibrations that lead to snoring. Removing your tonsils could reduce the snoring, but unless those enlarge tonsils and adenoids are causing a sufficient airway obstruction it is better to not have them removed.
Your Sleeping Position
The position you lie in while you sleep can make a difference as to whether you snore or not and how often. Those people who sleep on their back tend to snore more often than those people who sleep on side or stomach.
Gaining weight causes increases in the tissues around the throat, this excess tissue can block off your airway resulting in breathing difficulties and snoring. Added weight can result in sleep apnea.
Taking a muscle relaxant shortly before bed can relax the muscles in your throat as well as the rest of your body causing a blockage that may result in snoring and even sleep apnea.
Using alcohol can have the same muscle relaxing effect that muscles relaxants have and result in causing a blockage that can result in snoring. Alcohol users tend to be loud snorers.
An Elongate uvula (that little hangy down thing at the back of your throat) is longer than normal in some people. When you sleep, especially on your back, the Uvula may fall back blocking your throat and resulting in snoring.
Seasonal allergies can also lead to periodic snoring as your throat sometimes feel thick and your nasal passages become clogged.
Devices to Prevent Snoring
There are a number of different devices that are made to prevent snoring. These devices include:
- Nose Devices are small devices that are slightly inserted into the nose. These snoring aids typically help the nose passageways to open up a little more making it easier for air to pass through nose and down to the lungs, thus reducing vibrations(snores)
- Mouthpieces that control the position of your mouth when you are sleeping. Dentist on the recommendation of your doctor should fit these devices. Mouthpieces can be somewhat uncomfortable and difficult to get use to.
- Chin Straps are designed to hold your mouth shut and force you to breath through your nose.
- Nasal strips come in all sizes and shapes and hold your nostrils wide open so you take in more air.
- CPAP machines uses air pressure to keep your breathing passages open. These machines are especially beneficial for people who suffer from sleep apnea.
- There are also anti-snoring pillows, pills, and sprays most of which tend to be of little help.