While we sleep, the muscles that surround the throat relax, resulting in narrowed airways. When the soft tissue in the roof of the mouth, the uvula (the dangling thing at the back of your throat), parts of your nasal passages or the base of the tongue relaxes, it can droop down and block the airway. Your body keeps on breathing regardless, causing pressure to build up, eventually causing a vibration of the tissue as air is forced past the blockade. How much the airway becomes blocked tends to dictate the racket.
Why being overweight makes snoring worse
The excess fatty tissue on the neck causes extra gravitational pressure when the airway relaxes, causing or exacerbating snoring.
How sleeping positions matter
Lying on the side seems to offer the best protection against snoring, because all tissues tend to fall forward, out of the way of the throat. Lying on ones back makes snoring worse, because the tongue and tissues fall back into the throat, increasing obstruction. Any position whereby the head is tilted down will also increase snoring due to almost automatically blocking airways.
Lack of muscle tone can contribute
Having a lax body, including the neck, can contribute to snoring by offering no resting muscle tone. The tissue just flops around with nothing much to stop it. Lack of muscle tone increases with age, so the older we get, the more likely we are to snore.
What can we do about snoring?
Snoring caused by lax muscles and airways can be significantly helped in some people with some small, non-surgical treatments using radiofrequency or laser. These treatments are fast, effective, and can provide real relief to snorers and their loved ones.
The treatments reduce soft tissue mass but also firm up the flesh so it vibrates less.
Want to stop snoring?
Try our SnoreLESS program. It works.