How Common is Snoring

Friday April 30th, 2021

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The Sleep Foundation reports that nearly 60% of men and roughly 40% of women snore while sleeping. Approximately 30% of children in the United States snore as well. Almost everyone will snore occasionally, but it is much more common in some people compared to others.

Snoring can be just light and occasional, or it can be heavy and signal a severe health condition. Understanding why snoring occurs can help you take steps toward preventing it and addressing any underlying health or sleep conditions

What is Snoring?

Snoring is caused by movement and vibration of the tissues in your airway, toward the back of the throat. While you sleep, your muscles loosen, which makes the airway narrow. As you breathe, the air moves through the tissues in your throat, creating a snoring noise.

Who is More Likely to Snore?

Snoring occurs more frequently in men, but there are a host of reasons that snoring might occur. For example, the size and shape of your muscles and tissues in the neck will affect whether you snore at night.

Certain health conditions and risk factors make it more likely that you will snore. Even the use of some medications can result in increased levels of snoring. Snoring is also more common in older people. Smoking and alcohol use are often associated with snoring as well.

Something as simple as having nasal congestion because of a cold or flu, for instance, can result in snoring. Obesity and pregnancy also increase the likelihood of snoring..

What Health Conditions Cause Snoring?

Sleep Apnea

Snoring is often related to a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Not everyone who snores has OSA, but it is a very common symptom.

Sufferers of OSA have a blockage in their airway while they are sleeping. This can be caused by an airway collapse as well. The blockage or collapse often results in repeated and frequent pauses in breathing.

Nasal Problems

The shape of your nasal passage can have a huge effect on whether you snore. Conditions like a deviated septum or having nasal polyps may make snoring more common. Chronic nasal congestion can also result in snoring.


Those who are overweight are more likely to snore. Fatty tissue and low muscle tone, particularly in the neck area, will often result in snoring. Simply carrying extra weight in the neck area can lead to snoring.

Those who are overweight are more likely to develop OSA as well.

How Can I Tell What is Causing My Snoring?

You might be able to ask a loved one to observe you when you are snoring. If you can spot patterns related to your snoring, you might be able to determine what the underlying cause may be.

  • Snoring with your mouth closed. You might have a problem with your tongue blocking your airway.
  • Snoring with your mouth open. The tissues in your throat are likely the culprit.
  • Snoring while you are sleeping on your back. Snoring is most common while sleeping on your back. You can probably work on better sleep and lifestyle habits (such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, or adjusting sleep medications) to help decrease the occurrence of snoring. Changing sleeping positions can help too.
  • Snoring in every sleep position. If you snore no matter how you are sleeping, you may want to speak with a doctor about getting a more comprehensive review of your symptoms.

Snoring related to sleep apnea is often very loud. It may sound like snorting, choking, or gasping. Those with OSA will sometimes stop breathing for a period of time while they are sleeping. If your loved ones notice these types of patterns in your sleep, it is probably a good idea to seek medical attention.

How Can I Stop Snoring?

You can take action to help decrease the likelihood that you will snore while you sleep. For example, you might want to try the following lifestyle changes to help with snoring.

  • Quit smoking. Smoking irritates the nose and throat, which can result in throat and nose blockage. In general, those who smoke are more likely to snore.
  • Lose weight. Even losing just a few pounds in the neck area can reduce the amount of fatty tissue in the back of the throat, which can diminish snoring.
  • Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives. Certain medications and alcohol can relax the muscles in the throat, leading to snoring.
  • Exercise and tone. Toning the muscles in your neck (often through toning other areas of your body) will decrease snoring—even if you do not lose any weight. 

Sleep aids are often used to try to alleviate snoring.  One inexpensive and effective sleep aid is Sleep Connection.

Sleep Connection is an anti-snore wristband designed to address snoring by helping reposition the body and jaw to reduce the probability of snoring. In addition, It will send an alert to the user when snoring occurs. Get more information about the Sleep Connection Anti-Snore Wristband here.