What is snoring?

What is snoring?

Snoring is a hoarse snorting noise that is often quite loud. The sound occurs when there is a blockage in the airways of the snorer. The muscles and tissues at the back of the mouth, tongue and throat can relax while sleeping. This can cause the airway to narrow and partial blockages to occur. When these partial blockages occur the tissues start to vibrate which causes the snoring noise. The uproarious sound while resting happens when there is a check to the free stream of air through the bundles of the mouse and nose. Snoring occurs most often on the in breath but can also occur on the exhale. Most people snore occasionally, but some people snore habitually. Snoring happens incidentally in almost everybody, yet numerous individuals Snore incessantly. In individuals 30 to 60 years of age, 44 percent of men and 28 percent of ladies routinely Snore.


Snoring can be a sign of more serious health issues, such as Sleep Apnea. If snoring is a problem for you please see a doctor or medical professional.

How Snoring Occurs

When you breathe while sleeping the air enters the mouth or nose and passes through airways to your lungs. The back of the mouth — where the tongue and upper throat meet the uvula — is collapsible. If the muscles in this area relax and narrow the airway, it interrupts the flow of air, which causes vibrations. The tonsils and adenoids may likewise vibrate. The smaller the airway is, the more the tissue vibrates, and the more intense the snoring is.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is associated with other conditions such as:

  • Enlarged tonsils or long uvula
  • Obesity
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus problems or allergies
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Advanced age

The consequences of snoring

Sometimes snoring has little to no consequences other than being annoying to your bed partner. However, if you snore more regularly, it can start to cause health problems. Because snoring means that less air is getting into your lungs, it also means that less oxygen is getting to your body. This may prompt brief feelings of excitement or anxiety which places stress on your body and prevents deep sleep. Often, snorers will wake up feeling refreshed.

Oxygen deprivation over the longer term has been associated with brain diseases such as Alzehiemer’s disease.

Snoring can also affect the quality of sleep that a person gets. Long term sleep deprivation has been linked to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Snoring has been found to increase the risk of narrowing the veins inside the neck, called carotid atherosclerosis. In an investigation of 110 patients, the more time that was spent snoring, the higher the danger of narrowing. It is suspected that vibrations from snoring cause increased plaque inside these veins.

Also, some research has indicated that snoring can increase the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria versus ‘good’ bacteria in your digestive tract. This is likely due to decreased oxygen levels as well. ‘Bad’ bacteria can lead to an unhealthy digestive system that can cause pain and illness.

Learn more about how to treat snoring here.

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