Snoring occurs when the respiratory structures (uvula and soft palate) vibrate, producing an unpleasant noise due to the obstruction of air movement. Snoring may be caused by one or more of the following factors:
- a weakness of the throat (throat closes during sleep)
- irregular positioning of the jaw
- being overweight (fat gathers around the neck and jaw)
- obstruction of the nasal passageways
- relaxants taken before bed (alcohol, sedatives)
- sleeping on the back (causes the tongue to fall backwards into the throat)
Snoring can be disruptive not only to the person who snores but also to the person who must sleep alongside the snorer!
Sleeping on your side will sometimes alleviate snoring.
Snoring and Side Sleeping
- Taping a tennis ball to your mid-back area can help you remain on your side.
Why It Works
Sleeping on your side will often alleviate snoring, as this prevents the tongue from falling into the back of your throat and aligns the airway into an open contour. Sleeping partners have known this secret for years- a nudge to remind their partner to roll over onto their side will stop snoring. Having the tennis ball in place simply saves your partner from having to nudge you continuously throughout the night.
Snoring that continuously disrupts sleep, particularly in overweight people, has been associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. If your snoring is a nightly occurrence and causes daytime drowsiness, you should consult your physician.