Do you snore? Well if you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you or someone you know does, and you’re trying to figure out a way to stop it. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes snoring and give you some ways to prevent it.
Snoring occurs when your airways are obstructed and air cannot properly flow through them. As air struggles to pass through your airways, it rattles against the muscle tissues in your throat and nose, resulting in that dreadful sound you hear at night. There is a large variety of factors that cause snoring, and it is important to identify which cause applies to you in order to decide the right treatment method.
Common Causes of Snoring:
- Age: as we get older, our throat naturally gets narrower. This decrease in airway size may contribute to snoring.
- Being male: males are almost twice as likely to snore than women. They have larger airways, but their larynxes are lower in their neck, which leaves more space in their throat. As a result, their tongues may fall back into this space when they sleep, causing them to snore.
- Sinus congestion: allergies or sickness may cause a stuffy nose and trouble breathing. This blockage can cause some snoring.
- Drinking alcohol: alcohol acts as a depressant and can relax your breathing muscles, causing you to snore.
- Smoking: Smoking can dry out your nasal membranes, causing you to snore when you sleep.
- Obesity: obesity can lead to an increase in fatty tissue in the throat area, worsening snoring.
- Pregnancy: some women gain weight during pregnancy, which has the same effect as obesity for snoring. The hormone increases occur during pregnancy can also cause the mucous membranes to swell, causing congestion and snoring.
- Switch to sleeping on your side: If you sleep on your back or stomach, switching to your side may open up the airways a bit more and prevent obstruction. Make sure to get a pillow that keeps your neck and spine aligned.
- Exercise: Exercise can help you lose weight and reduce your amount of total fatty tissue, including fatty tissue in the throat.
- Limit alcohol intake: Drinking alcohol, especially before bed, relaxes muscles and can make snoring worse. Even though alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it actually prevents restful sleep.
- Drink more water: A dry mouth can make snoring louder, so stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your mouth moist at night.
- Put a humidifier in your bedroom: By keeping the air in your room moist, you can prevent your nasal membranes from drying out, which also prevents snoring.