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What Causes Snoring?

What Causes Snoring?

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Snoring. Many of us do it, whether we know it or not. In fact, studies show that about 45 percent of all adults snore on occasion, and 25 percent snore habitually. Ever wonder why? There is a multitude of reasons why many of us “saw logs” in our sleep, and the Central California Sleep Center in Fresno has put together a list of the five most common causes of snoring.


1. Mouth Anatomy

Many people snore as a result of their physical makeup. People with a long soft palate or uvula (the dangling tissue in the back of the mouth) or those with enlarged tonsils or tissue in the back of their throats are more likely to snore. As the muscles inside the mouth and throat relax, airflow is partially blocked, causing these structures to noisily vibrate against each other.

2. Nasal Problems

Congested nasal airways caused by a cold or allergies can also cause snoring. When the nasal passage is partially blocked, it restricts the passage of air during sleep. As the body works to get the air it needs, the soft tissues inside the mouth rub together, resulting in snoring.

3. Body Weight

Losing weight is always a good idea for your overall health, but dropping a few pounds can also reduce or eliminate snoring. Fat can build up around the throat, narrowing your airway during sleep, causing you to snore.

4. Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol is another common cause of snoring. Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles during sleep, obstructing your airway. Prescription drugs such as sleeping pills can have the .same effect.

5. Sleep Apnea

In most cases, occasional snoring is more of an annoyance to your partner than anything else. However, habitual snorers may have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea-a serious condition. Sleep apnea causes the throat tissues to completely block your airway, preventing you from breathing for 10 seconds or longer.

Janet M. Bennett

Written by:

Janet Bennett, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, is a Speech Pathologist in private practice in Asheville, NC, since 1977. She specializes in treating tongue thrust, a swallowing disorder that can result in buckteeth, an open bite, a lisp, snoring, and other problems that have not yet been made known to most people.