A question most frequently asked by non-snorers 🙂 But hey if you snore and have reached this page, we totally understand. Snoring affects not only your health and relationship but also of those around you, so its understandable for all those snoring and those living with people who snore will want to know the answer to this question – WHY do People SNORE when sleeping ….zzzzzzzzz

Considering 40% adults snore regularly while sleeping, this makes snoring a widespread menace, and also makes the question ‘Why do people Snore when sleeping’ an important question.

A common misconception is that people snore because they can! This is absolutely wrong. Snorers snore because they can’t Stop it!.

Snoring harms the snorer’s health and well being far more than it does of the non-snoring partner.

With that cleared up, lets look at a detailed answer to the question – WHY do People SNORE when sleeping?


How is Snoring Sound produced amongst men and women who Snore while sleeping?

Snoring sound is produced, because air is being forced through the nose and throat. Take a straw insert a bead into the straw. Choose a bead small enough to fit into the straw. Now blow air through this straw. As air is forced through the straw, the bead will vibrate against the straw. This will produce a whistling like sound. That’s exactly how snoring sound is produced in people.

Why do people snore when sleeping?

Just like the produced sound, so do people. People snore because their airway is being obstructed. Due to this the air that they are inhaling, is being forced through their obstructed nose or throat. This causes the soft tissue in nose and throat to vibrate and bump against one another. This gives rise to snoring. Obstruction of the airway is the basic reason why people snore. Now there can be many different reasons for this obstruction. So these reasons need to be looked into more in detail.


Why is the airway obstructed – Reasons?

Airway in snoring man or women can be obstructed due to various reasons:

  • Excess mucus in nose/throat
  • Enlarged tonsils, this is usually a cause for snoring amongst children
  • Excess soft tissue in throat and/or nose can cause men, women and even kids to snore.
  • Floppy neck or/and throat tissue this is a leading reason why older men and women tend to snore
  • Excess fat tissue in neck, this is an easily identifiable reason for snoring
  • Smaller than normal jaw, another reason for snoring, for which corrective surgery might be the only solution.
  • Aging causes loss of muscle tone, increasing chances of tongue obstructing the airway, making older men and women more prone to producing the snore sound. Throat, Jaw, Tongue and cheek exercises are a great solution for snoring due to aging.
  • Larger than usual uvula is a common problem among men who snore
  • Deviated septum usually more common in men than women as they engage in more rough activities which can cause a broken nose resulting in deviated septum. Men and women both can also be born with a deviated septum. Usually the best solution for this type of snorer is corrective surgery to get the septum set right.
  • Swelling of nasal/ throat tissue.
  • Medication can cause excessive relaxation of tissue leading to obstruction of throat and result in the snore sound being produced.
  • Alcohol can cause excessive relaxation of tissue causing obstruction resulting in snoring
  • Pre-existing medical condition like asthma can worsen snoring problem amongst all gender

How common is snoring problem?

Quite common. Almost 40% people snore regularly. Snoring becomes a problem when it affects sleep of the snorer or/and partner. Both men and women snore, and even kids snore. When the snoring becomes habitual its a cause of concern, amongst all; men women and kids too.

Do men snore more than women?

Yes men snore more than women. 4 in 10 men snore, whereas 3 in 10 women snore. Since there are more men than women (world gender ratio is 1.06; that’s means there are approx 17 men for 16 women)  this means you are more likely to come across a male snorer.

While men are generally portrayed as snoring in popular media, statistics show that women are not far behind in snoring, and this representation can surely be questioned.

Why do people snore when they sleep?

An easy answer is that their airway becomes obstructed while sleeping, due to this air that they are breathing in is forced in through their obstructed air passage. This causes the snoring sound to be produced.

Reason why people snore at night?

Snoring is most likely to occur during REM sleep and this sleep happens best at night, hence people who snore can be quite during the day while letting out a drumroll at night. For more detailed understanding of REM sleep, read on.

Sleep can be divided into two types, based on eye movement. These are called REM ( Rapid Eye Movement) & NON – REM sleep.

Since sleeping begins with NON – REM sleep, let’s have a look at it 1st.

NON – REM Sleep:

Falling asleep happens gradually and naturally, however sleep researchers have divided the falling asleep process into stages, for ease of studying and understanding sleep better.

Stage ` Name Characteristic
NON – REM Sleep
1 Nebulous Semi awake state, where you are neither fully awake nor fully asleep
2 Light Sleep You enter very light sleep, where any environmental stimuli can awaken you. (If a door shuts loudly, you are likely to get up in this stage of sleep)
3 Transitional Here you move from light sleep into a deeper and more relaxed sleep. Your breathing and heart rate will slow down in this phase
4 Deep Sleep Now you have entered the deepest sleep, here your heart rate and breathing are very slow. Waking you up from this stage of sleep is difficult and if woken you are likely to be disoriented ranging from few seconds to few minutes.
REM Sleep
5 Dream sleep Can appear suddenly, at intervals throughout the night. This is the state where brain is almost as active as when awake and dreams are most likely to occur. To ensure that you do not act out on your dreams, during this stage body muscles relax completely, making you almost immobile. This complete relaxation makes this stage of sleep most likely time for snoring to occur.

 What is Sleep Apnea?

Snoring can indicate a serious underlying problem called Sleep Apnea. Snoring occurs because the airway is partially blocked and when breathing air is being forced through this obstruction causing the surrounding tissue to vibrate and produce sound.

Sleep Apnea refers to a condition when instead of partial the obstruction becomes full. In case of Sleep Apnea, the airway becomes obstructed fully, stopping the flow of air to lungs. This caused a fall in the blood oxygen level and simultaneous increase in carbon dioxide level in blood. These changes trigger off the brain to wake up the snorer, to restore normal breathing.

In Sleep Apnea the breathing can stop for as long as 10 seconds, which makes this a very dangerous condition. Sleep Apnea requires immediate medical attention to ensure that it doesn’t lead to any further complication.

Sleep Apnea occurs in almost same proportion amongst men as in women.

How Can I Stop Snoring?

Right! Now that we have answered the big question of – Why do People SNORE? Next biggest question is how can you stop snoring or get other people who snore to stop it! There are many ways in which you can stop snoring:

Depending on what works best for you, you can try any one of the above or a combination of different techniques. Aim is to be healthy and disease free. Snoring unless addressed can bring a host of diseases like cardiovascular complications, obesity, mood disorder etc to your and your partner’s doorstep. So take immediate action to cure your snoring!


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