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Why do I snore?

Why do I snore?

Have you recently started snoring? Or have you been snoring for as long as you can remember? Whether your snoring issue is new or old, everyone snores for different reasons, but not everyone is aware of why they snore. If you’re unsure as to why you’ve started snoring, or are curious about the different reasons as to why we snore, here’s a go to guide on the different types, common outcomes, and solutions for snoring. 


Ageing

As we age, our sleeping habits and sleep in general changes, often leading to more difficulty sleeping and more snoring. This is largely due to weakening airway muscles. Unfortunately, humans lose elasticity and control as we grow older. That means our bodies, including internal muscles loosen and become less toned. This leads to a higher possibility of snoring more with age. Other indirect reasons why aging may cause snoring involve easier excessive weight gain, consuming medication with sedative properties, and reduced immunity. 


Fixes to age-related snoring

Since age isn’t something we can reverse or stop, finding ways to reduce snoring is typically the goal for this type of snoring problem. Here are some ways to combat age stricken snoring:


  • Mouth exercising: Toning weak muscles in and around your throat is key. Check out these anti-snoring movements to try out.
  • Anti-snoring mouthpieces: In for an easy and efficient solution? Try an anti-snoring mouthpiece. They help by moving your tongue forward gently, keeping your airway open for better airflow and a quieter night’s sleep.
  • Weight loss: A sustainable weight management solution can reduce your chances of snoring. 

Facial shape and hereditary conditions

Physical traits can often be the cause for snoring as well. Having a narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical features that cause snoring are often hereditary. Another problem some of us are simply born with are allergies. This can cause blockages in our breathing system which can lead to snoring.


Fixes to physical and hereditary conditions

We can’t often (or inexpensively) control what we are born with. However, there are rather worth it and inexpensive anti-snoring solutions to significantly reduce, and sometimes eliminate snoring. They include: 

  • Nose dilators: physically diallate nose airway passage 
  • Anti-snoring mouthpieces: to manipulate position of tongue
  • Allergy medications: Clears nasal passage for better breathing

Sleep position


A common cause of snoring is the way we sleep. Most notably, those who sleep on their back are more prone to snoring. This is because our breathing is forced to fight gravity in a horizontal position. Whereas, being upright and vertical means breathing is smooth and unrestricted.


For back sleepers, the gravitational restriction forces the tongue, jaw, and soft palate to drop backwards towards the throat. This in turn creates an even narrower airway passage that can lead to breathing difficulties, and of course, snoring.  


Fixes to snoring caused by sleep position

  • Sleep on your side: side sleeping reduces compression of your airways
  • Change pillow placement: double up on pillows for heightened head placement

Lifestyle choices

More specifically, alcohol intake, smoking, and medications are likely causes of snoring. These three are known to relax and inhibit our biology and brain functions. Unfortunately, this means that excessive intake of the above relaxes the muscles in and around the throat which interferes with breathing.


Fixes for lifestyle induced snoring

  • Reduce overall intake: No surprise that reduction the amount alcohol, smoking, and sedative included medication can also reduce the snoring
  • Time your alcoholic beverages: As alcoholic effects are usually shorter term, consuming them earlier reduces its relaxation effects as the day goes on
  • Speak with your doctor: Your doctor should know which medications will have more snore induced properties. They can seek sometimes seek alternatives that don’t encourage breathing issues

Weight gain

Weight gain is one of the most common, if not the most common cause of snoring. With extra fatty tissue and weaker muscle tone comes the higher chances of those late night sounds. Even if weight gain is not a worry for you, note that some people have thicker necks which causes direct compression of the airways. Furthermore, central weight causes indirect suppression of our upper airway as belly and chest fat pushes the diaphragm and ribcage up. Generally, this shrinks the volume of our lungs and reduces even more airflow.


Fixes for snoring caused by weight gain

  • Exercise: general weight loss lessens the amount of fat around your upper and central body
  • Healthy diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in whole foods and vegetables, and treat yourself to snacks that support a healthy bodyweight 

These are some of the more common causes of snoring. Yes, some seem impossible (or very difficult) to control but there are always ways to work around all different causes of snoring. It’s important to note that creating change, whether it’s lifestyle based or simply opting for an anti-snoring mouthpieces is the goal in reducing those unwanted sounds. Not only will you and your partner be happier, but you’ll be a healthier and better version of yourself!


References

  1. https://www.snorelab.com/age-and-snoring/
  2. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/snoring-tips-to-help-you-and-your-partner-sleep-better.htm
  3. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/snoring-tips-to-help-you-and-your-partner-sleep-better.htm
  4. https://www.edensleep.co.nz/blog/sleep-apnea-sleeping-positions
  5. https://www.snorelab.com/sleeping-position-and-snoring/
  6. https://www.snorelab.com/overweight-and-snoring-a-vicious-circle/