Snoring occurs when excess tissue in the back of the throat makes a flapping noise. This tissue mainly hinders air from flowing freely as you breathe, making it vibrate and result in snores. Some people are more prone to snoring than others, especially if you have certain health conditions, such as obesity, excessive alcohol use, chronic nasal congestion, pregnancy, etc. But some snore even without an underlying condition.
In fact, scientific findings suggest that chronic snoring affects at least 57 percent of adult men and about 40 percent of adult women in America. While snoring may be caused by anatomy and various health conditions, there are things you can do to prevent it. Although it might seem harmless, snoring can result from sleep apnea — a sleeping disorder that can cause other health issues.
Understanding the root cause of snoring is key in determining whether it is something to be concerned about. Here are ways a person’s sleep position or condition could also lead to snoring.
Sleeping On Your Back
Sleeping on your back is the worst position for a snorer. In this position, the airway is more susceptible to collapsing to pressure from the neck and gravity.
Essentially, sleeping on your back compresses the respiratory system and makes the airway more subject to collapse due to various internal and external influences. What happens is that the weight of your neck presses the base of the tongue and soft palate down, and gravity makes them shift towards the throat.
This essentially blocks your breathing system and makes you more predisposed to snoring. So, it would be best to sleep on your side as it does not strain the throat and is easier to keep the mouth closed. You can consider using a full-length body pillow to help you maintain sleeping on your side throughout the night.
Sleeping With Congestion
You have probably had head congestion during a cold before that made it impossible to breathe through your nose. Whether it is from a cold or an allergic response, snoring often tends to worsen during such conditions.
For some people, such congestion is chronic and can cause the body to breathe through the mouth all night. Mouth breathing makes the airway much narrower and elongated while allowing your soft tissues to collapse backward.
As a result, this makes the inhaled air more turbulent, and it aggravates snoring. To prevent this, always clear your nasal passages before sleeping so your nose is clear to breathe.
Sleeping Too Flat
Sleeping too flat in the bed can collapse the airway and lead to snoring. What happens is that gravity tends to tug downwards on the tissues within the airway, making you more susceptible to snoring.
Elevate the head slightly to keep the chin tilted and the mouth shut. This will help prevent the crimping of neck muscles, keep the tongue from collapsing, and ease breathing. Also, ensure your bed supports the spine and neck to maintain good alignment throughout the whole body while sleeping.
Sleeping In Dry Air
Dry air can also cause snoring. Breathing in dry air while you sleep irritates the nose and throat. Dry air often lacks enough moisture to soften the airway when inhaling. This prompts air passage in the nose and throat to narrow, restricting breathing and exacerbating snoring.
Consider getting a humidifier to keep the air cool and moist to prevent dryness. Also, a cooling mattress can help keep your body from sweating and dehydrating. For best results, consider getting an original cooling mattress.
Defined as the gasping sounds made while sleeping, snoring tends to occur when the air passage at the back of the throat is compressed. While not everyone suffers from it, snoring affects most of the population.
Various things often lead to snoring, which commonly ranges between underlying health conditions and general sleeping positions. Although occasional snores do not pose much risk, chronic snoring can be a symptom of something much worse.
Therefore, learning what causes snoring, its consequences, and how to manage it is crucial. The article above examines snoring and outlines how your sleeping position or condition could lead to snoring. It further features some easy fixes you can make to treat snoring and improve overall sleep quality.