What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused by a restriction or blockage in airflow while you sleep. The restriction can occur as a result of a problem in your nose, your mouth, your sleeping position or it can be a combination of factors. By working out where the problem is, you may be able to figure out a good solution that helps you (and your partner) get back to sleeping soundly.
Snoring occurs when muscles in the roof of your mouth, your tongue and the back of your throat relax. As you drift off to sleep, they fall back towards your throat. Everyone’s neck muscles relax during sleep, but sometimes they relax too much. As the airway narrows the more forceful the airflow becomes. This increases the vibration causing the snoring to become louder and louder. Despite snoring being really LOUD, you’re most likely completely unaware of the sound you’re making.
No matter what the reason, 40% people snore regularly whether they realise it or not.1
How to stop snoring
Effective snoring treatment really depends on what’s causing your snoring. If you only snore when you sleep on your back, you may benefit from a side sleeping aid that encourages you sleep on your side.
There are also nasal patches and oral devices that can help to stop you snoring. However, if your snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, you may need to look at treatment options for this condition.
Snoring and sleep apnea
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (also spelt apnoea) are linked at an alarming rate – three in ten men and nearly two in ten women who are habitual snorers suffer from some degree of obstructive sleep apnea.1 Sleep apnea prevents you from getting the healthy sleep you need to lead an energetic life.
Find out if your snoring is a sign of sleep apnea
If you snore — or if you suspect you snore — consider it a sign that something may not be right. Take our short online sleep assessment or arrange to have a home sleep test to see if your snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea.
It’s time to get help with snoring
Don’t wait for a nudge from your partner. Many people only snore when they lie on their back. Try sleeping on your side instead.
A sleep repositioning device can help to keep you sleeping on your side. Look for one that records your snoring so you can tell whether your sleeping position affects how you snore.
A pillow that positions you to sleep on your side and in a slightly elevated position can shift your centre of gravity to your lower body and reduce the pressure on your airways.
By supporting your neck, your throat and soft palate are aligned to enable air to flow more freely.
Many people find that putting a small patch on their nostrils reduces their snoring. It causes a slight rise in pressure in their airways which has been clinical proven to reduce or eliminate snoring.2
Repositioning your lower jaw using a dental splint that you wear while you sleep can help open up your airway and stop snoring. These devices have been clinically proven to stop snoring in almost 90% of people.3 There are no batteries, cords or power, required.
1 Ohayon MM et al. BMJ. 1997;314:860–3.
2 Young T et al. N Engl J Med 1993; 328(17):1230–5.
3 Kryger MH et al. J Clin Sleep Med. 2011 Oct 15;7(5):449-53B.
4 Vecchierini MF et al. Sleep Med. 2016 Mar;19:131-40.