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Snoring – Causes & Impact

Snoring is caused when the muscles at the back of the throat and tongue relax during sleep. The airway narrows which results in vibrations as the air passes through. These vibrations are what causes the snoring sound.

Three key factors that may contribute to snoring:

  1. Excess weight or obesity (can contribute to fatty tissues in the throat which narrows the airway)

  2. Alcohol or medications with sedative effects (can cause throat muscles to relax more than usual)

  3. Sleeping Position (sleeping on your back can cause gravity to pull your jaw and tongue back, narrowing the airway and creating tissue vibrations ie: snoring)

Of these key factors, research has indicated that 60% of all snorers will snore only, or most often while sleeping on their back!

Snoring can negatively impact a person’s sleep quality, health, and even their relationships.

Some snorers snore loudly enough that they wake themselves during the night or they wake their partners who return the favour with a flying elbow. These disrupted sleep cycles can gradually erode sleep patterns which can cause:

  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

  • Poor mental and emotional health

  • Negative moods

  • Low energy or lethargy

  • Decreased productivity

  • Slower reaction time

The potential health impacts of snoring are many. The reduction in oxygen flow to the brain caused by snoring over time can lead to:

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • High blood pressure

  • Hypertension

In addition to sleep and health considerations, snoring can lead to significant strife in a relationship. The loss of sleep, for both partners, can be poisonous to a relationship and often causes one partner to sleep in a separate bedroom. If not addressed, snoring in a relationship can result in:

  • Frustration

  • Resentment

  • Stress

  • Loss of intimacy