What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is one of the most grating habits a person can have. It disturbs the snorer’s sleep, as well as their partner’s, leaving both parties feeling unrested and understandably crabby. Fortunately, we actually know quite a bit about what causes snoring.

What Causes Snoring?

This information, provided by decades of research, can help people identify core factors contributing to their snoring problem. Once you know your cause of snoring, we can develop a snoring treatment plan. For the best sleep apnea treatment Manhattan has, visit Sleep MD.


Men generally have narrower air passages than women do. As a result, they are more likely to snore during the night simply due to the structure of their respiratory system.


Although a few extra pounds may not make a difference, any weight gain in the neck will increase the chances you will snore. When you’re lying down, the extra weight puts pressure on the airways. That’s why it’s common for snorers to stop snoring if they sleep on their stomachs. Additionally, if you have lost a lot of muscle tone in your neck, you may have a similar problem.

Alcohol Consumption

That relaxed feeling you get after a few drinks isn’t just in your head. All of your muscles relax a little when alcohol is introduced into the bloodstream. This includes the muscles in your throat. Without the normal support structure in place, gravity does its job, and the weight of your neck will flatten your airways enough to result in snoring. Other drugs that promote muscle relaxation will have this same effect.


Men are predisposed to snore more often, but this is also an inherited trait. Anyone who inherits narrower passages is likely to snore.

Respiratory Problems

People with a temporary or chronic respiratory condition are also likely snorers. The phlegm that we normally associate with a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection will partially block your airways. As with any other factor that decreases the flow of air through your respiratory system, these conditions will lead to snoring. Luckily, the snoring should resolve itself once you are feeling better.

Other Considerations

There are several easy explanations for snoring. However, if snoring is a regular problem for you, then you really should speak to a specialist. A sleep doctor typically has a background in pulmonology and sleep medicine. The combination allows them to look at your sleep holistically and determine what the best plan of action is for you based on your symptoms and observed behavior.

Speaking with a specialist is very important. Chronic snorers (or people who snore more often than not) may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder that could cause serious harm over the patient’s lifetime. Even if you aren’t definitively diagnosed with a sleep disorder, it is a known fact that snoring affects the quality of your sleep. Due to your snoring, you are more likely to feel tired and moody during the day. You may not learn or retain information as well as you would otherwise, and you run the risk of potentially falling asleep in a dangerous situation.

Treating Chronic Snoring

To you, snoring may seem like it’s just an annoying habit. But there are real health risks that have to be taken seriously. Especially when you look at what causes snoring. Once you’ve had your initial consultation with your sleep doctor, don’t be surprised if you are asked to undergo a sleep study. This is the observation segment of the diagnostic process. They can usually be performed in a lab or in the patient’s home, depending on patient preference.

Your doctor will use this information and other testing to help definitely diagnose your condition and craft a personalized treatment plan. You may be asked to make lifestyle changes to improve the efficacy of the treatment, so keep in mind that your doctor is simply trying to give you the best chance at enjoying a fulfilling life.

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