Snoring or stertoring can be a very irritating habit to people sleeping next to you. You might have experienced a couple of sleepless nights thanks to your partner who has this habit. However, before you chase them to another room or file for divorce, have some knowledge about what causes snoring. This might help you appreciate whether or not the habit can be prevented or not. Generally, the main cause is the altering of the breathing system as one sleeps due to constriction of the air pipe from the back of the throat. Below are in-depth descriptions of the causes of this habit.
Causes of Snoring
• Constriction of air passages: Whenever nasal breathing is restrained, people switch to breathing through the mouth. While asleep, many people have their mouths slightly open and are thus prone to producing the irritating sounds as surrounding tissues vibrate along the air passages.
• Sleeping position: Different people prefer different positions while sleeping. People who sleep on their sides are less likely to snore than those who prefer lying on the back. This is because as the latter sleep, their throat, tongue, tonsils and soft palate are pulled down by gravitational force. As a result, their air passages are narrowed, causing the tissues to vibrate whenever air passes.
• Tongue and uvula: Between the throat and the soft pallete is a tiny flap known as the uvula. People with a longer uvula are more susceptible to this habit. Similarly, if the back of the tongue is large, one is likely to stertor. This form of stertoring occurs mainly if the tongue relaxes and rests on the uvula, resulting in the narrowing of air passages.
• Medicine and alcohol: Many people who drink are barely aware it can fuel stertoring. This is because alcohol makes the mind drowsy, making the victim have a more relaxed sleep than usual. Some medications that induce drowsiness also have a similar effect. When one is in very deep sleep, the throat muscles relax, constricting the air passages thus resulting in the croaking sound.
• Being overweight: Many people are not aware of what causes snoring among overweight people. The reason is that such people tend to have extra fatty tissue around their throats, which make the air passage narrower.
• Smoking: Smoke highly irritates air passages, making them to constrict. Because of this, many smokers stertor in their sleep.
• Colds: When the nose is clogged with mucus, it becomes hard for air to pass through. Consequently, the person has to breathe through the mouth, the epitome of what causes snoring.
• Age, gender and physical condition: As people grow older, their throats become narrower resulting in louder stertoring. Males, who generally have thicker necks, are more prone to this habit than women. Finally, some people may have bigger thyroid glands, thicker soft palletes or longer tongues, making them more likely to stutter.