According to statistics culled from the Vancouver Sleep and Breathing Centre and the BBC News, 30 percent of people aged 30 and above report having a snoring problem. This percentage increases to 40 percent among those aged 40 years and older. Curiously, snoring is more prevalent among men as only 19 percent of the fairer sex report having a snoring problem. Snoring is fairly uncommon to children, with only 5.6 percent of youngsters reporting having trouble sleeping due to their own snoring.
And if you think that your snoring is a minor inconvenience that does not affect anyone, think again. Fifty-nine percent of people report having a problem with a partner who snores. On average, the snoring has a decibel level of 38 decibels, equivalent to the sound of a mini fridge. However, when you compound the proximity of one partner to a snorer, that decibel level is not really negligible.
But what, exactly, causes snoring? People snore because the flow of air through their mouths and noses are physically obstructed. This obstruction occurs for a variety of reasons — in some instances, due to a combination of several factors. Knowing these causes is the first step toward finding an effective snore solution.
Some people only snore during the allergy season. Others snore when they suffer from a sinus infection. Still, there are snorers whose problem is caused by deviated septums or nasal polyps.
Snoring may also be caused by the muscles in the throat and tongue. Unlike other people, the throat and tongue muscles of snorers become too relaxed. In turn, this leads to the throat and tongue obstructing the airway. This condition is normally associated with ageing but may also be caused by deep sleep, consumption of alcohol and even the use of sleeping pills.
Snoring is particularly prevalent among overweight people. The primary reason for this is that overweight people have a bulky throat issue.
Others snore due to a physiological problem, particularly due to their long soft palate or uvula. The soft palate is the structure that you can see dangling at the back of your mouth. In snorers, their uvulas can narrow the air passageway between the nose and the throat. Additionally, the uvula can also vibrate against the other parts in the airway, blocking the airway which, in turn, leads to snoring.
Snorers should immediately seek a solution for causes of snoring, not only because their problem is a nuisance to their bed mates, but also because snoring can lead to serious health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.