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Snoring: All You Need to Know

    Snoring: All You Need to Know

    Noisy breathing when a person sleeps is called snoring. Many people snore, but snoring could also be a sign of a more serious problem. Here are some fast facts on the different types of snoring that you should know about.

    What Causes Different Types of Snoring?

    Medically speaking, snoring is indicative of increased upper airway resistance and increased pharyngeal collapsibility. However, certain factors can predispose someone to snore more than others.

    Being overweight

    Being overweight can cause snoring because of the distribution of fat. For instance, neck fat can create direct compression on a person’s upper airway, especially when they lie down, which can increase the chances of snoring.

    However, snoring can also cause a person to become overweight. When a person has poor sleeping habits, which can occur because of snoring, they may be more inclined to sugary foods and junk foods to stay alert.

    Relaxed throat muscles and tongue

    If your throat muscles and tongue relax too much while you sleep, it could cause different types of snoring. Some examples of this can include sleep deprivation, sleeping on your back, drug and alcohol use, and the throat and tongue having poor muscle tone, etc.


    Additionally, a sinus infection or allergies could cause snoring. It would most likely be the cause of a person’s snoring if they only experience wheezing during allergy season or when they get a sinus infection.

    Male vs. Female

    Gender could also impact different causes and types of snoring. For instance, men have bigger pharynges compared to women.

    Additionally, men have more changes in their airway sizes when they stand up and lie down. So, the difference in size could be why men are more likely to snore and suffer from sleep apnea.

    But what causes snoring in females? Well, there could be a link between snoring and menopause. A study observes that women are more likely to snore when they are around 50 years old, which is the typical menopause age.

    What Are the Types of Snoring

    Understanding what causes your snoring is an important step to learning how to stop it. However, it would also be ideal to know the different types of snoring.

    Tongue-Based Snoring

    One of the types of snoring happens is tongue-based snoring.

    When your tongue becomes too relaxed, especially when you lie on your back, your tongue can block airflow into your lungs. This normally happens when a person takes sleep medication, consumes alcohol, or has extra fat around their neck.

    If you only snore whenever you sleep on your back and have a very big tongue, there is a chance you have tongue-based snoring. Additionally, your snores may have inconsistent high-pitched noises.

    Mouth-Based Snoring

    On the list of types of snoring to watch out for is mouth-based snoring.

    Weak palatal tissue, enlarged tonsils, blocked nasal passages can make you breathe through your mouth while you sleep. Thus, it could lead to mouth-based snoring.

    If you only snore when you have an open mouth, then you may have mouth-based snoring. People who suffer from mouth-based snorting are more inclined to sleep on their side or back.

    Nose-Based Snoring

    Blocked nostrils from a physical obstruction, such as a deviated septum, could cause nose-based snoring. Other factors could cause nose-based snoring as well, such as smoking, certain medication, allergies, colds, etc.

    You may have nose-based snoring if you have impaired nasal breathing while you are awake, have headaches, bad breath, and dry mouth, among other symptoms. Your snore may also sound like a grunt or a loud whistle.

    Throat Snoring

    Of the types of snoring, this one can be dangerous and loud. Typically, this happens when a person has sleep apnea. It can occur in any sleeping position. If untreated, it could cause a stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

    Daytime symptoms of throat snoring could include daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, etc. Nighttime symptoms can consist of difficulty breathing while sleeping, loud snoring, etc.

    types of snoring

    How Can I Stop Snoring?

    Aside from knowing the different types of snoring, it’s important to know how and when to intervene. Here’s how to stop snoring.

    Achieve healthier BMI. If you are overweight, achieving an ideal body weight can relieve your symptoms. There will be less pressure on your airways, which could help you sleep more soundly. Learn more about your BMI using our BMI calculator.

    New nighttime habits. It would also be ideal to avoid alcohol, especially before going to sleep. It may also help to get enough sleep every night and try not to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side might help lessen your snoring.

    Anti-snoring devices. However, a medical professional may recommend some things to you if your snoring is disrupting your life. For instance, they might suggest an oral apparatus to keep your air passage open while you sleep to help decrease snoring.

    If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may need continuous positive airway pressure. It is a mask that keeps your airway open while you sleep by directing pressured air into your throat.

    Surgery. In more severe cases, a doctor may have to perform upper airway surgery. For instance, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a procedure done to decrease tissue collapse and increase airway size.

    Herbal approach. However, if a medical professional says your snoring is not dangerous, but you want it to go away, you could try ayurvedic treatment for snoring. This treatment involves knowing what to eat to stop snoring.

    Hot foods like horseradish, onions, and garlic could stop snoring because it can reduce mucus build-up that blocks your sinuses. Ginger could also soothe your throat and nose to help you sleep better at night potentially.

    Is Snoring a Warning Sign?

    While snoring typically can be harmless, it’s important to take note of the different types of snoring. If your snoring is disruptive and loud, you may need to see a doctor. It could mean that you are suffering from sleep apnea, which can be dangerous when left untreated.

    For instance, obstructive sleep apnea can lead you to develop high blood pressure and may make you gasp or choke awake while you sleep. However, one of the more critical factors is it can stop your breathing and disturb your sleep.

    Key Takeaways

    Everyone snores, one time or another. It is important to learn what causes your snoring and how you can treat it, especially if it becomes disruptive. Snoring for many may seem like a minor inconvenience, but you should check for the underlying causes as a more serious condition can develop. Treatment can range from taking medication to losing weight, to simply changing sleeping positions. Consult your doctor to ensure that you can sleep well and without any complications. That way, you can also improve your quality of life.

    Learn more about Healthy Sleep here.


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    Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you're at a healthy weight. You can also use this tool to check your child's BMI.



    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Interactions Between Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3021364/, Accessed June 28, 2020

    Snoring: Diagnosis and Treatment, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/snoring/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377701#:~:text=Lying%20on%20your%20back%20allows,airway%20and%20partially%20obstructing%20airflow, Accessed June 28, 2020

    Size and Mechanical Properties of the Pharynx in Healthy Men and Women, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1456554/, Accessed June 28, 2020

    The Effect of Age, Sex, Obesity and Posture on Upper Airway Size, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9311508/, Accessed June 28, 2020

    The gender difference of snore distribution and increased tendency to snore in women with menopausal syndrome: a general population study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5399062/, Accessed June 28, 2020

    Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/p/palate-surgery/types/uppp.html, Accessed June 28, 2020

    Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482178/#:~:text=Continuous%20positive%20airway%20pressure%20(CPAP)%20is%20a%20type%20of%20positive,people%20who%20are%20breathing%20spontaneously, Accessed June 28, 2020


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    Written by Tracey Romero Updated Feb 14
    Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel