Many people will have experienced sleeping with a snorer. In fact, some may even have been driven to the point of hovering menacingly over their partner’s face with a pillow, fully intending to suffocate them with gleeful abandon. However, 41.5% of the UK population snores, which amounts to 15 million snorers – 10.4 million males and 4.5 million females – so we shouldn’t turn these adenoidally challenged folk into pariahs. The sound of snoring is made when you breathe through your mouth and nose when you’re asleep. But when that air doesn’t move smoothly through your air passages, it makes tissue in your mouth, nose and throat vibrate as the air passes through. Some causes of snoring are related to lifestyle, (being overweight, smoking, drinking alcohol etc), so there are changes you can make to minimise the snoring. But if the self-help methods don’t work, then there’s only one thing for it…no, not the pillow…visit your GP.
Snoring is a sound made when you breathe through your mouth and nose when you are asleep. It happens when air does not move smoothly through your air passages, making tissue in your mouth, nose and throat vibrate as the air passes through.
The flow of air can be blocked because of excess tissue in the nose, mouth and throat, or the position you sleep in, or because of a health condition.
Snoring does not usually cause any problems for the person doing it. But it does affect partners, family and even neighbours if it keeps them awake.
Snoring can sometimes be a sign of sleep apnoea. This is when the blockage in your airway causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds, so you wake up many times during the night. This causes tiredness and can affect your day-to-day life. You might not even realise that you’re waking up.
Almost half of people in the UK snore from time to time, and around a quarter of people are regular snorers.
Comments and Questions
The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.