Types of Snoring
When you sleep, your muscles relax, including the ones in your throat. This relaxation can cause your airway to narrow, making it difficult for your lungs to inhale and exhale the amount of air you need.
If your airway narrows too much, the air you breathe is then pulled through it faster. This causes the soft tissue in the back of your throat to dehydrate and vibrate. The sound this makes is what you hear as snoring.
Snoring with congestion
Colds and allergies are a common cause of snoring. Along with seasonal allergies, many people also have an allergic reaction to bed dust/mites that they are unaware of.
When nasal tissue swells during a cold (or allergic reaction), the airflow through the nose becomes blocked or restricted. This congestion narrows your airway, forcing the air you breathe to travel faster and further dehydrate the tissue. This may force you to breathe through your mouth – and this can lead to a dry mouth, and snoring.
Loud snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
Snoring is caused by the soft tissue in the back of the throat vibrating when your airway relaxes during sleep. But in some cases, the airway becomes so narrow that the walls of the airway stick together and close up. This usually happens for around 10-30 seconds at a time, but can occur for longer – sometimes up to 50 times an hour or even more.
When the airway finally opens up again, you might emit a loud, violent snore. This event is known as an apnoea. Throughout the night, your body will constantly come out of deep sleep in order to help you breathe – doctors call this an “arousal”. Though you might not be aware of an arousal, this is what causes you to feel sleepy the next day. Sometimes the airway may not fully close, but becomes so narrow that you experience an oxygen drop in your blood. This is called a hypopnoea. Frequent apnoeas and hypopnoeas mean you most likely have OSA. If you suspect you are suffering from OSA, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.