Snoring is more than annoying
Newsflash: Snoring is disruptive to sleep—both for snorers themselves and especially for bed partners. (Check out these other bed partner pet peeves.) But snoring is more than a noisy nuisance: It’s a form of sleep-disordered breathing that can interfere with high-quality rest and put you at higher risk for health problems, including depression and heart disease. Most people know that being overweight, and sleeping on your back, can cause you to snore. There are many other factors in everyday life that trigger noisy nighttime breathing— let’s take a look at those.
Some people are designed to snore
Why do people snore? During sleep, the muscles of the throat and mouth relax. This relaxation narrows the trachea—that’s the “windpipe” that carries air to and from the lungs. Within the narrowed airway, the tissues of the soft palate and uvula shake and vibrate. This vibration causes noise. Some people have anatomical characteristics—a thick soft palate, more tissue in the back of the throat—that make them more likely to snore. (Wondering what type of snorer you are? Take this quiz to find out.) Using nasal dilators (I like Theravent and Mute) or mouth guards (I prefer Zyppah) can help. Check with your dentist before starting to use a mouth guard, to make sure it’s appropriate for you to use and won’t aggravate jaw pain or tooth movement.