When you sleep, the muscles in your throat relax and your tongue slips back in your mouth. Snoring occurs when something blocks air from flowing freely through your mouth and nose. When you breathe, the walls of your throat vibrate, causing the sound of snoring.
There are several factors that can lead to snoring, including
Sometimes snoring can be a sign of a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can make it especially hard for your bed partner to get a good night's sleep.
To help reduce snoring:
If your health care provider has given you a breathing device, use it on a regular basis. Follow your provider's advice for treating allergy symptoms.
Talk to your health care provider if you:
You should also talk with your provider if you have episodes of no breathing (apnea) during the night. Your partner can tell you if you are snoring loudly or making choking and gasping sounds.
Depending on your symptoms and the cause of your snoring, your provider may refer you to a sleep specialist.
Li C, Hoffstein V. Snoring. In: Kryger MH, Roth T, Dement WC, eds. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 102.
Wakefield TL, Lam DJ, Ishman SL. Obstructive sleep apnea and sleep disorders. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 18.
Last reviewed on: 8/5/2015
Reviewed by: Sumana Jothi MD, Specialist in Laryngology, Clinical Instructor UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.