What causes snoring while sleeping?

Snoring and Health


What is snoring?

Snoring is a sound produced while sleeping due to vibration of respiratory tract.  can be due to a medical condition called OSA. OSA has many health risks. Hence, it is important to get evaluated and prevent snoring. Maintaining a healthy body weight and good muscle tone is important factor in preventing snoring.

What is the cause of snoring?

Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping.
Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue: Throat and tongue muscles can be too relaxed, which allows them to collapse and fall back into the airway.


What are the health problems associated with snoring?

Health Risks Associated With Snoring


Snoring is known to cause –

  • Sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them
  • Daytime drowsiness,
  • Irritability,
  • Lack of focus
  • Decreased libido.
  • Psychological and social damage
  • Obstructive sleep apnea [OSA]


What are the health problems of OSA ?

Sleep apnea creates several problems, including :

  • Strain on the heart.
  • higher blood pressure
  • Higher risks of heart attack and stroke.
  • OSA are at an increased risk of many perioperative complications when they are present for surgery, even if the planned procedure is not on the head and neck.



What is the correlation of snoring and heart disease?


Multiple studies reveal a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack and stroke.Heart attack and stroke risk increases with snoring.

Risk of heart attack is higher by 34% chance.

Risk of stroke is higher by 67% chance.


What is the physiological basis of  Snoring?

Snoring is the result of the relaxation of the uvula and soft palate. These tissues can relax enough to partially block the airway, resulting in irregular airflow and vibrations.


  • Obstructed nasal airways:
    • Sinus infection.
    • Deformities of the nose such as a deviated septum (a structural change in the wall that separates one nostril from the other)  
    • Nasal polyps
  • Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue: Throat and tongue muscles can be too relaxed, which allows them to collapse and fall back into the airway. This can result from deep sleep, alcohol consumption, or use of some sleeping pills.
  • Normal aging causes further relaxation of these muscles.
  • Bulky throat tissue: Being overweight can cause bulky throat tissue. Also, children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore.


Which body structure is more likely to suffer from snoring and OSA?

Individuals with decreased muscle tone and increased soft tissue around the airway, and structural features that give rise to a narrowed airway are at high risk for OSA. Men, in which the anatomy is typified by increased mass in the torso and neck, are at increased risk of developing sleep apnea, especially through middle age and later.

What is the severity of OSA in women?

Women suffer typically less frequently and to a lesser degree than do men, owing partially to physiology, but possibly also to differential levels of progesterone. Prevalence in post-menopausal women approaches that of men in the same age range. Women are at greater risk for developing OSA during pregnancy.

How to prevent snoring?

  • Reduce weight
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • exercise
  • increase muscle tone