The science behind snoring; why do people snore?



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I have a friend who ended her 2 year relationship because her partner couldn't stop snoring, that's how serious a snoring problem gets if not paid attention to. It could affect our relationships with people, our social life and even our self esteem!


A snore is a harsh sound produced during sleep due to vibration of relaxed tissues in your throat when air passes through them while breathing. Simply put, it's a sound produced by vibration of soft tissues in your upper airway while you sleep
When you are awake, the tissues in your throat are in a contracted state (smaller in size) During sleep, the tissues are relaxed (bigger) and when air passes through the small space, due to the resistance creates by the tissues, a loud sound results called a snore.
A snore is bothersome and distressful especially when you don't sleep alone however it doesn't always indicate one has a disease except in some cases. Snoring can be a symptom of an underlying disease. A typical example is OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA.

  • Males
  • Fat people
  • People with siblings who snore
  • People with nasal problems like catarrh
  • Alcoholics or heavy drinkers

Snoring can result from factors which are either modifiable of non modifiable
Modifiable factors are those which can be worked upon to reduce the snoring whereas non modifiable factors are those that are inherently present in the individual

Overweight people may have extra tissues in their throat so during sleep when the muscles are in relaxed state, as air passes through, there's a loud vibration.

Structure of your mouth
Some people regardless of their weight have thicker tissues in their throats compared to others. These group of people are prone to snoring. It could be familial or genetic

Alcohol is a nervous system depressant. It also relaxes the muscles during sleep so alcohol intake before sleep may also cause snoring

Sleep position
Lying down flat during sleep can also cause snoring. The effect of gravity causes the muscles in the mouth and throat or even the tongue to fall back thus restricting the flow of air during sleep. Sleeping in "fetal" position is advised. That is sleeping on your side with your legs curled up.

Nasal congestion
The nose may get congested due to viral illnesses like influenza or from common cold. This congested tissues are larger in size thus restricts airflow during sleep causing high frequency vibrations.

Obstructive sleep apnea
Apnea is when there's a cessation in breathing. When this occurs for some periods during sleep due to a narrowed air passage, the condition is called obstructive sleep apnea. And it's due to a narrowing of the air passages thus as air is trying to pass through this narrowed passage, a loud sound is produced called a snore. So people with this disorder snore a lot.

  1. Most children who snore are perfectly healthy, but about 1 percent of children who snore have obstructive sleep apnea.
  2. 30 percent of adults over the age of 30 produce these noises in their sleep,
  3. It's totally possible for one to go through his entire life without knowing he snores

Sleeping during the day
Problems with your partner
Sleep deprivation


Once in a while, everyone snores but for some people, it could be a long term problem. If the cause is known, it should be treated

  • For overweight, exercise and dietary modifications

  • Decrease or stop alcohol intake especially before bed

  • Adopt better sleeping practices such as:
    Avoid lying on your back, lying on your side is preferable. If the body finds it difficult to maintain that position, a bulky object like a couple of pillows could be put to prevent you from changing position.
    Raise the head of your bed
    Getting enough sleep

  • Stop smoking

  • Snoring in a child could be an indicator of swollen tonsils, visit the doctor to get the tonsils removed again

  • Use of nasal strips or dilators
    A nasal strip is applied across the nose bridge like a bandage, it increases the area of the nose thus improve airflow
    If it's due to obstructive sleep apnea

  • Oral appliances and nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) devices are devices that are inserted into the mouth or nose and the tongue and soft palate from collapsing back into the upper airway.

  • Surgery
    Some tissues in your throat are not really necessary. They are called vestigial structures. Surgery can be done to remove the excess tissues.

    If all these measures don't stop the snoring. I guess it's time to get the people around you earplugs!



Concise and interesting write up. People end relationships for the flimsiests of reasons. If anyone can endure snoring for two years, he/she can as well endure for the rest of their lives. Something else must have triggered the break up imo.


Lol! Perhaps she used that snoring as an excuse at that point, who knows?? Same way some people end relationships because their partners squeeze toothpaste in the middle. Thanks for stopping by 🤗


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