What Causes Snoring And Ways To Reduce It

Updated on June 12, 2020

Excellent sleep quality is vital to your overall health and well-being. However, while you’re enjoying a sound sleep every night, someone can possibly be bothered by your sleep noises, a.k.a snoring. If you’re not the only one sleeping on your bed, make sure that other individuals have the same comfortable sleep as you. 

While some people only snore occasionally during their sleep, others tend to do it excessively. Because of these noises, they can interrupt their companion’s sleep, and even their own. If you find snoring challenging to manage, it is essential to look back on its root causes to reduce these noises, and more importantly, eliminate them for good.

Under those circumstances, here are the most common causes of snoring and a few ways to reduce these sleeping noises:

Sleeping Style And Position

During sleep, an individual can lie down in various positions without them noticing. Nevertheless, most people lie on their back when asleep, and this causes gravity to act on your body organs and tissues. As gravity pulls down your body, the soft, hanging tissues on your respiratory system, such as the tonsils, palate, and tongue tend to droop onto your throat’s wall. Subsequently, these tissues obstruct and narrow down the airway, leading to tissue vibration, airflow turbulence, and snoring.

To minimize snoring caused by your sleeping style, change your position from sleeping on your back to sleeping on your side. Since you can’t always monitor your sleeping position, you can still achieve full support and comfort no matter your sleeping position by choosing a snoring partner: a comfortable mattress and body pillow. 

Obesity, Pregnancy, Or Being Out Of Shape

Weight gain and changes in your body size and shape can impact your lifestyle negatively. Your sleep quality adds to this burden because being obese, pregnant, or out of shape can induce and aggravate your snoring. If you’ve noticed frequent snoring when you started your pregnancy or gained extreme weight, it is probably the cause of your sleeping noises. But how does that affect snoring?

Extra fatty tissues on the neck, midriff, and chest block air from getting in and out of your system, which creates those breathing noises. Moreover, poor muscle toning contributes to snoring. 

If you’re gaining excessive weight than usual, the best way to reduce your snoring is to exercise and lose significant weight. On the other hand, this study highlights that weight reduction is not singlehandedly the solution, but it also goes hand in hand with considering fat building up on airways, hormonal changes, and other factors, which will be investigated along the way. 

Pregnant women, especially those on their third trimester, experience snoring due to nasal congestion, growing abdominal girth, and uterus pressing. Since they’re essential for pregnancy and until giving birth, here are some remedies you can look into:

  • Use a warm-mist humidifier with your favorite, pregnant-safe scent
  • Attach a nasal strip before sleeping
  • Sleep on your side
  • Elevate your head by adding pillows or reclining your bed
Illustration showing airway during snore

Age And Anatomical Factors

While some causes mentioned above can still be solved, your increasing age and natural anatomy can’t be changed, so your safest bet is to accept these qualities and incorporate remedies into your sleeping routine. 

As you age, your throat significantly narrows down, and its muscle tone also decreases. In older adults, this can sometimes become a worse problem known as dysphagia. To reduce your age-related snoring, provided below are some tips:

  • Utilize an anti-snoring mouthpiece
  • Practice mouth exercises like music lessons
  • Consult for diagnosis and treatment of nasal blockage

Furthermore, some people naturally have genetic qualities, such as extra throat tissues, large adenoids, enlarged tonsils, long uvula, or long soft palate. All these parts of your body can notably affect how mild or severe your snoring is. Also, men are more susceptible to snoring due to their narrower air passages compared to women.

Since you can’t control these anatomical factors, you can minimize snoring through exercises, bedtime routines, and the right lifestyle choices. 

Alcohol, Drug Intake, And Smoking

Because of poor lifestyle choices, an individual’s overall health is compromised in unimaginable ways that most people neglect. For instance, smoking is known to have adverse effects mainly on the lungs only, but is anyone aware of how it impacts sleep-related snoring? These routines are much worse than you can imagine because smoking, alcoholism, and frequent drug intake also aggravate snoring.

Here are some ways how these activities affect your snoring:

  • Alcohol Intake: It will be harder for air to reach the lungs and vice versa since alcohol relaxes your throat muscles and passageway of air. You’ll need to inhale more forcefully to transpire, causing the vibration sounds.
  • Drug Intake: Tranquilizers and muscle-relaxing drugs like diazepam and lorazepam also induce throat relaxation, so air can’t smoothly go in and out of your respiratory system.
  • Smoking: Firsthand and secondhand smoking create irritation, sensitivity, and inflammation on the upper airways. 

Obviously, the optimal way to stop snoring associated with these poor lifestyle choices is to avoid them in the simplest ways you can.

Bottom Line

Snoring is indeed an inconvenience to your good night’s sleep, as well as the sleep of your partner and children. Snoring for a night or two is healthy and manageable, but it can be disturbing to experience them consecutively. By identifying the root causes of your snoring problems, you can find the right remedies and solutions to put a stop to them.

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