Why Do People Snore

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Why do people snore? Everyone snores on some level. Snoring is the sound of the vibrations made when you sleep. In some cases, that means snoring can be very loud and it can keep your partner awake. Sometimes it can be loud enough that it wakes you up.

Understanding Why Do People Snore

Snoring may be a symptom of a sleep disorder, but just because you snore does not automatically mean you have one. It's averaged that anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent of the population snores at one time or another.

Snoring is divided into two categories: primary snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Primary Snoring

The most common type of snoring is primary snoring. Primary snoring can lead to sleep apnea later in life, but is often related to other issues. So why do people snore? Anatomy can cause snoring. A person may have a:

  • Deviated nasal symptom
  • Hypertrophy of the tonsils or adenoids
  • Tongue enlargement
  • Small oropharynx (area of your throat that passes the vocal chords)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is marked by loud gasping for breath caused by the inability to breath while asleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness as well as weight gain.

Nasal Blockage

Colds and allergies can also cause primary snoring as breathing passages are blocked or plugged. Drainage from the sinus passages into the throat can lead to gasping for air while sleeping. Sinus infections, sinus impactions, dried out sinuses and more can lead to snoring.

Sleeping with a humidifier can help mitigate some of these problems, but be sure to maintain the cleanliness of the humidifier in order to avoid other issues associated with mold or fungus. Allergy medications, better air quality and more can help you clear the sinus passages allowing better breathing and less snoring.

Cigarette Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is related to a number of health problems including snoring. Inhaled smoke can have a negative effect on your body's natural ability to clear mucus. This can increase how much mucus is collected into your sinuses and throat leading to blockages and snoring. Ceasing smoking can lead to better quality sleep in a few weeks as your body resumes natural mucus clearing.

Residual Effects of Snoring

Snoring typically disturbs the sleep of the snorer and the person around them. Even if a person does not remember waking up while they are snoring, they may not be able to get to the deeper stages of sleep because they are snoring.

While snoring may happen infrequently, for those that suffer from chronic snoring and snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea, there are serious medical consequences. Snoring can lead to:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Dry, sore throat
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension

If you experience more than three or four of these symptoms consistently, you should contact your physician. They may be symptomatic of a medical problem such as obstructive sleep apnea.

Your doctor can send you in for a sleep study where your stages of sleep, breathing patterns and number of times you awaken can be monitored. If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or another chronic sleep disorder, you can receive treatment.


Your partner may not enjoy hearing you snore and you may be embarrassed that you snore, but do not let personal embarrassment prevent you from seeking help that will let you get a good night's sleep..

Why Do People Snore