Why Do People Snore?
While sleeping, we sometimes breathe through the mouth rather than the nose. The air rushing in through the mouth occasionally causes the palate (the soft tissue at the back and top of the mouth) to vibrate. The rough, fluttering sound it makes is a snore.
Nearly everyone snores once in awhile, but men usually snore more often than women and children. Snoring usually occurs while the sleeper is lying on his or her back, with the mouth open. Snoring tends to increase with age. It is often caused by loss of tone (firmness) of the palate muscles.
Snoring can lead to poor sleep and daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems.
Common causes of snoring:
Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary.
Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.