In order to stop snoring it can be helpful to understand what snoring is and what causes it.
Wikipedia describes snoring as “the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping” and the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association says it is “defined as a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissue in the mouth, nose & throat”.
Snoring happens when the air moves over relaxed tissues in the nose, mouth or throat. If there is a partial blockage in the upper airway when you breathe in, the resulting turbulence and vibrations produce the snoring sound.
When we are asleep our muscle tone is reduced and is this is why it is unable to prevent the airway tissue vibrating in some people.
Often people who do not regularly snore will report snoring after a viral illness, after drinking alcohol, or when taking some medications. These can all relax the tissues in the nose, mouth or throat and cause those vibrations.
However it is those who have this problem on a regular basis that are concerned with how to stop snoring. The three main causes of snoring are being overweight, drinking alcohol and smoking, so if you are a snorer and can adjust your lifestyle to address any of these issues then you should see an improvement.
Snoring also usually worsens with age, sometimes due to weight gain and often because of loss of tone in the neck and throat.
There are many other things that can cause this relaxation of muscle tone in the upper airway, so if you want to stop snoring it is worth checking out the Causes of Snoring to see which ones apply to you.