Snoring is one of the most common sleep problems, affecting people of all ages and both genders. In fact, almost 37 million Americans on average report that they snore. Snoring commonly occurs when the air flowing past relaxed tissues in your throat vibrates, causing those annoying and hoarse sounds. Snoring not only negatively affects your sleep, but it can affect your partner’s sleep as well.
Factors that Affect Snoring
- Age: While snoring can affect those of all ages, it is most common in older adults, as the normal aging process leads to the relaxation of the throat muscles that cause snoring.
- Sleep position: Those who sleep on their back are more likely to be snorers. This can be easily corrected by sleeping on your side to keep your airway open for relaxed breathing.
- Weight: Individuals who are overweight tend to carry excess tissue around the throat area, which can contribute to snoring.
- Gender: On average, 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women experience snoring on a regular basis.
Determining Why You Snore:
How your body and mouth are positioned when you snore can help indicate the reason behind this tendency.
- Closed-mouth: May indicate a problem with your tongue.
- Open-mouth: Issue related to your throat.
- Sleeping on your back: Most common form of mild snoring that can be fixed by improving sleep habits.
- Snoring in all positions: Can indicate a more serious issue, such as sleep apnea, that may require specialize treatment.
How to Tell When Snoring has become a Problem
A little snoring in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, snoring can negatively affect sleep to the point where you aren’t breathing properly or actually sleeping throughout the night. Many times, this is an indicator of sleep apnea, an obstruction in the airway that causes a sleeper to frequently wake during the night in order to begin breathing again. If you’re a snorer experiencing one or more of the following problems, it’s time to see a sleep doctor.
- You sleep all night, yet do not feel well rested in the morning.
- You wake up choking or gasping for air.
- You’re experiencing tension with your partner.
- You consistently wake up with chronic dry mouth and throat.