During sleep, the throat muscles relax and as a result, the space within the throat is narrowed. When air flows through the narrowed throat while sleeping, the tissues of the throat can vibrate and create the sounds we recognize as snoring. Snoring is very common and occurs at least occasionally in almost half of all adults. Men are more likely to snore than women.
Snoring can be exacerbated by being overweight, nasal congestion, or alcohol consumption. Any narrowing of the nose or throat may lead to increased snoring. For example, if the tonsils are enlarged, the throat will be narrower and therefore vibrate more when air tries to flow through, thus creating louder snoring. In addition, being overweight can contribute to narrowing of the passages, which can lead to snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
People who snore may not be aware that they snore unless it is brought to their attention by someone else. Snoring may disrupt proper sleeping patterns as well as someone else’s sleep. In addition, heavy snorers may suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which snoring is frequently interrupted by periods of completely obstructed breathing.