About 45% of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25% are habitual snorers. Snoring is more common disease in men and overweight people, usually worsens with age.
Common causes of snoring
- Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
- The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary.
- Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
- Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.
- Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
- Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.
What can you do?:
- Lose weight. Losing even a little bit of weight can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease or even stop snoring.
- Exercise can also help to stop snoring. Working out to tone your arms, legs, and abs, for example, also leads to toning the muscles in your throat, which in turn can lead to less snoring.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, your chances of snoring are high. Smoking causes airways to be blocked by irritating the membranes in the nose and throat.
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives, especially before bedtime, because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing. Talk to your doctor about any prescription medications you’re taking, as some encourage a deeper level of sleep which can make snoring worse.
- Establish regular sleep patterns. Create a bedtime ritual with your partner and stick to it. Hitting the sack in a routine way together can help you sleep better and often minimize snoring.