After enduring bed partner's nighttime noises, you may ask, "Why do people snore?" in an effort to learn how to stop the incessant buzzing. Snores snoring can interfere with the sleep of the snorer, as well as anyone else in the house. Often, it becomes a quality of life issue not only for the sleeper but for others as well.
A snore is essentially a rough, hoarse noise made when people breathe while they sleep. The sounds vary in frequency, pitch, and intensity. A snore can be short or long and loud.
A vibration of the soft palate at the roof of the mouth is thought to cause snoring.
Generally, this happens when the muscles become too lax and is often the result of the use of anything that promotes muscle relaxation.
This can be the result of alcohol or medication use, sleeping on the wrong sized pillow or on the back, or obesity. Additionally, nasal deformities such as a deviated septum or enlarged adenoids or tonsils, particularly in children, can cause snoring.
Other answers to the question of "why do people snore" are smoking, asthma, the use of cold medicines such as antihistamines, and overall poor muscle tone.
Snoring in and of itself is usually not problematic. Men are more prone to snoring than women, but most people snore at some point. Yet, chronic, loud snoring can be symptomatic of a serious problem known as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the person who snores does not breathe for several seconds (sometimes up to two minutes).
As a result, oxygen levels in the blood are lower than they should be, and this makes the snorer tired during the day. Sleep apnea has been known to result in sudden death, so chronic or loud snorers are advised to check with their doctor.
While there is no one definitive answer for the question of "why do people snore," physicians can set up sleep studies to see if sleep apnea is a problem for a sleeper.
If sleep apnea is determined to be the case, based on test findings, then treatment may consist of lifestyle changes and the addition of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine changes the way air flows into the body to regulate oxygen flow, keep breathing regulated and, in turn, alleviate snoring and curtail health risks.
If sleep apnea is not present, but snoring is troublesome for either the snorer or others in the house, click here to learn about remedies that help stop snoring.
Sources: National Institutes of Health and The Medical Advisor: The Complete Guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments. Time Life Books