Snoring is referred to as an often loud or harsh sound that can be produced at the time of sleep. Snoring happens when the flow of air as you breathe makes the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate.
The sound is most often produced as you breathe in air, and can come through the nose, mouth or a combination of the two. Snoring can occur during any stage of sleep.
About more than half of the people snore at some point of time in their lives. Snoring is found to be more common in men, still many women snore. It seems to run in families and becomes more common as one gets older.
About 45% of adult men and 27% of adult women are habitual snorers. Men become less likely to snore after the age of 70.
Sleeping on your back can make one more likely to snore during sleep. This problem may also happen when your throat muscles relax from use of alcohol or other depressants. Congestion from a cold or allergies can also cause you to snore.
Snoring can be an irritation to your partner and anyone else nearby. You can even snore loudly enough to wake yourself up. Though, in many cases people do not realize that they snore. Snoring can also cause you to have a dry mouth or sore or irritated throat when you wake up.
Light snoring may not disrupt your overall sleep quality. Heavy snoring can be attached with obstructive sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder and a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many other health problems.
Causes of Snoring
Obesity, Pregnancy and Genetic Factors
The presence of extra tissue in the throat can vibrate as you breathe in air in your sleep further causing you to snore. People who are overweight, obese or pregnant may have extra bulky throat tissue. Genetic factors that can cause snoring include extra throat tissue as well as enlarged tonsils, large adenoids, long soft palate or long uvula.
Allergies, Congestion and Certain Nasal Structures
Anything that prevents you from breathing through your nose can further cause you to snore. This can involve congestion from a cold or flu, allergies or deformities of the nose such as a deviated septum.
Alcohol, smoking, aging and certain drugs and medications, including muscle relaxants
One can even snore when his throat or tongue muscles are relaxed. Substances that can relax these muscles may cause one to snore. This includes alcohol, muscle relaxants and other medications.
Symptoms of Snoring
If one is having any of the following symptoms he can have sleep apnea:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Choking or gasping while you sleep
- Pauses in breathing
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Moodiness, irritability or depression
- Need to urinate during the night