Snoring is a common problem that affects both men and women. In fact, research shows that habitual snoring occurs in 44 percent of males and 28 percent of females between 30 and 60 years of age , while occasional snoring affects almost everyone .
Although snoring can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common cause of snoring is anatomic. This means that your physical anatomy, such as the size and shape of your mouth and nose, contribute to snoring. Other causes of snoring include sleep position, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Let’s explore some of the most common causes of snoring and what you can do to stop it.
Anatomic causes of snoring
As mentioned above, the most common causes of snoring are anatomic factors - including anything that contributes to the physical structure of your mouth and nose. For example, if you have a deviated septum, this can cause narrow air passages, which can lead to snoring. Other anatomic causes include large tonsils, long soft palate, or narrow throat. If you suspect that your anatomy is causing your snoring, you should consult with a doctor who can determine if you need surgery to correct the problem.
Another common cause of snoring is sleep position. If you sleep on your back, gravity can cause your tongue and soft palette to fall back into your throat which will block your airway and cause you to snore. You can avoid this by sleeping on your side or stomach instead of on your back. Additionally, propping up your head with pillows can also help reduce gravity’s effect on your tongue and soft palette.
Food and drink consumption before bedtime
Eating a large meal or drinking alcohol before bedtime can also contribute to snoring. When you eat a big meal before lying down, it relaxes the muscles in your throat which can block your airway and cause you to snore. Alcohol has a similar effect because it relaxes the muscles in your throat and makes it difficult for air to pass through. If you want to avoid snoring, it’s best not to consume food or drink alcohol at least two hours before bedtime.
If you want to learn more about the possible causes and solutions to snoring, read our Ultimate Research-Backed Guide to Treating Snoring.
Invest in the Happy Sleep anti-snoring mouthguard
If you’re a heavy sleeper, you may not be too concerned about the occasional night where you find yourself snoring loudly. However, if you share a bed with someone else, they may not be so understanding!
The easiest way to mitigate your snoring and enjoy a more peaceful night’s sleep is to invest in an anti-snoring mouthguard. The Happy Sleep range comprises revolutionary, dentist-designed oral mandibular advancement devices for managing snoring and teeth grinding.
Drawing on more than 35 years’ experience successfully treating thousands of snoring and teeth grinding patients, world-renowned sleep medicine expert Associate Professor Dr. Jack Gerschman designed the Happy Sleep mouthpiece to treat snoring and protect against grinding - effectively, comfortably and conveniently.