Snoring: One of the most annoying and complained about human functions! We can burp, we can break wind, and all is forgiven. But snoring can be the end of a relationship! So what exactly causes snoring? You pretty much know why you have to burp or pass wind, but that snoring thing is somewhat of a mystery.
From an anatomical point, experts say it is because of a upper airway being partially blocked or closed, the upper airway being your nose and throat. When we go to sleep, our neck muscles relax. For some of us, they relax almost too much and thus, the closed upper airway.
When that upper airway is blocked or closed, air can’t travel through the narrow opening to the lungs, so our body isn’t getting enough oxygen to do those important things it needs to do. So the brain starts sending signals to the body trying to wake it up so that it can get oxygen. This often has us waking up through the night and most of the time, we don’t realize it.
Some Snore, Some Don’t
Still, not everyone snores. If you have an enlarged tongue, tonsils or you’re overweight, especially around your neck, you’re most likely a snorer. Another thing that can cause you to snore is structural things like your jaw or nose. The sound of snoring itself is from the narrowing of the airway and that causes the throat to vibrate which is what creates that snoring sound.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Sleep apnea and snoring are linked and the rate of that link is increasing at an alarming rate. It has been found that one in three men and approximately one in five women are habitual snorers and suffer from some level of obstructive sleep apnea. What Is Sleep Apnea? Sleep apnea prevents a person from getting that good, healthy sleep that is needed to wakeup energetically refreshed every morning. Sleep apnea is linked to other health conditions like Diabetes (Type 2), heart failure, hypertension, and obesity.
Other Causes Of Obstructed Airways
Those who suffer with allergies are like to be a snorer and are prone to sinus infections, all of which narrows the airways. A nose deformity such as a deviated septum or other structural change that separates the nostril walls, aka nasal polyps, are triggers that obstruct the airways and results in snoring.
Those Genetic Factors and Pregnancy
An expectant mother will often develop extra tissues on her throat. This blocks the airway and results in snoring. Genetic factors such as enlarged adenoids, enlarged tonsils, a long uvula, and a palate that is long and soft will also cause snoring. Pretty much anything that can prevent you from breathing through your nose can cause you to snore.
Aging, Medication, Personal Habits
As we get older, the muscles in our throat and our tongue becomes more relaxed, resulting in snoring. Anyone that is on medications is prone to snore. Those who drink alcohol and smoke are more likely to be a snorer.
The Serious Side-Effects Of Snoring
We’ve covered some of the more common things that cause snoring. But what can snoring to do you, other than a divorce? Plenty! Take a look at the possible results from long-term snoring.
- A Stroke
- Studies have found that intense snoring was related to carotid atherosclerosis risk. This is the narrowing of the neck arteries from fatty deposits which can result in a stroke.
- This is the irregular heart rhythm of a long-time snorer who is at a high risk for atrial fibrillation episodes. More and more people are seeking help for this and doctors are able to treat them with CPAP.
- Issues Of Mental Health
- Anyone that snores are at a risk of their mental well-being can be affected which can lead to crankiness, depression, and more. Results of a recent study found that 74 snorers indicated being sleepy during the day. They are also at a higher risk of anxiety or depression.
So you don’t think you’re a snorer? Well, as many as 40% of all average adults snore. And most of them don’t even know it. And if you don’t snore now…you most likely will at some point. Read more about anti-snoring devices on our homepage.