Snoring is the sound made by a person whose breathing is blocked while sleeping. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of the airway that strike each other and vibrate. Snoring is common, especially among older people and people who are overweight.

When severe, snoring can cause frequent awakenings at night and daytime sleepiness. It can disrupt the partner's sleep, but also be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called ‘sleep apnea’. 


Depending on the cause of snoring, the symptoms may include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Noise during sleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sore throat
  • Gasping or choking at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain at night


Many factors, such as the anatomy of your mouth and sinuses, alcohol consumption, allergies, a cold, and your weight, can lead to snoring.

The following conditions can affect the airway and cause snoring:

  • The mouth anatomy. Having a low, thick soft palate can narrow the airway. People who are overweight may have extra tissues in the back of their throat that may narrow their airways.
  • Alcohol consumption. Consuming too much alcohol before bedtime relaxes throat muscles and decreases the natural defense against airway obstruction.
  • Nasal problems. Chronic nasal congestion or a crooked partition between your nostrils (deviated nasal septum) may contribute to your snoring.
  • Sleep apnea. Snoring also may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea. In this serious condition, the throat tissues partially or completely block the airway, preventing the breathing.

Risk Factors

Risk factors that may contribute to snoring include:

  • Being a man.
  • Being overweight.
  • Having a narrow airway.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Having nasal problems.
  • Having a family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.


Lack of sleep is affecting your day-to-day activities and causing symptoms, such as:

  • poor memory and concentration
  • headaches (particularly in the morning)
  • irritability and a short temper
  • anxiety 
  • depression 
  • lack of interest in sex


  • Eat sensibly, exercise, and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and medicines that slow your breathing, such as sleeping pills and tranquilizers.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get plenty of sleep.
  • Sleep on your side, not on your back. Sleeping on your back can increase snoring.
  • Quit smoking. This reduces inflammation and swelling in the airway, which may contribute to the narrowing of the airway.
  • Raise the head of your bed by 10-15 cm by putting bricks under the legs of the bed. (Using pillows to raise your head and upper body does not help). Sleeping at a slight incline can prevent the tongue from falling toward the back of the throat and contributing to a blocked or narrowed airway.