Men are more likely to snore than women. Up to 71 percent of men snore, compared to 51 percent of women.
During sleep, tissue in the upper airway and the back of the throat relaxes. If the tissue sags enough when you breathe in, the tissue vibrates. The result is snoring. When the passageway at the back of the throat is narrowed by enlarged tonsils or adenoids or by an elongated uvula the vibration increases.
WAYS TO AVOID SNORING
- Go on a diet. Even being 20 percent over your ideal weight can cause snoring. The more overweight you are, the more and louder you are likely to snore.
- Avoid alcohol before going to bed.
- Avoid taking sedatives. Anything that relaxes the tissues around the head and neck will make snoring worse.
- Stop smoking.
- Sleep on your side.
- Consider getting rid of your pillow. It only elevates your snoring level
Nasal congestion contributes to snoring. Take a decongestant before bed to relieve nasal congestion. You may also want to try breathe-easy strips that are placed over the bridge of the nose to open nasal passages.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
A new procedure called uvulopalatoplasty uses a handheld laser to remove the excess tissue in the back of the throat. This is an outpatient procedure but it may require two to five sessions.
In general, the louder a person snores, the more likely they are to have a medical problem. If the person who is snoring literally stops breathing, this is called sleep apnea. If you snore loudly enough to be heard outside a closed bedroom door, you are very likely to develop sleep apnea. If this is the case, see your doctor. You can be fitted for a device that forces air pressure into the nose and the back of the throat, which keeps the airway from collapsing.