Snoring is a sound that results from air causing the tissues of the palate and throat to vibrate during your sleep. It occurs when your breathing is partially obstructed, due to relaxation of your muscles during sleep. Snoring during sleep may be a sign, or first alarm, of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Risk factorsIn general, snoring can be caused by one or more of the following:
- Throat weakness, causing the throat to close during sleep.
- Mispositioned jaw, caused by tension in the muscles.
- Obesity and excesive fat situated in and around the throat.
- Obstruction in the nasal passageway, for instance because you have a cold.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Substances such as alcohol or other drugs that induce relaxation of the throat muscles.
- Your tongue dropping in the back of your mouth, when you sleep on the back.
- Smoking weakens and clogs your throat.