The Culprits: Causes of Snoring
Medically, snoring is defined as a noise caused by vibration from the airways of the respiratory tract that only appears during sleep.
The big question here is that, why, of all state, do we only experience snoring during restful moments?
Well, while we breathe 24/7, the likelihood that one snores during waking hours is very slim. This is due to the factor that only relaxed muscles can result to snoring.
During sleep, all our voluntary muscles are relaxed. The throat, in the same way as the triceps are relaxed is also resting while we sleep. The fact that tissues in the throat are soft, adds to the eventual output of vibrating sounds.
Once this tissue eases out, the passage of air will turn into a narrower passage. As you can see, narrowed passages causes louder noise because there is more room for friction, thus the vibration.
These same factors are also pointed as the reasons why there are differences in the loudness, pitch and tone of snores.
The loudness of snore is affected by the force of the wind that comes through the air passages. Therefore, when the speed of wind is faster, the snore, in general, is louder and more resonant. This answers why babies are capable of snoring too. However, theirs is not typically considered as snoring but only as mild noises created by the respiratory tract. This must never be ignored though since it may be the early sign that something is jammed in your child's respiration tunnel.
But while it may appear to both genders at any age, men are more often affected by this condition than women and middle-aged men are most likely to be the victims.
The reason is that men have more fleshy necks since theirs are a bit wider than women's. This factor combined with the speed of air, the result is most likely to be snoring.
Meanwhile, women by nature produce progesterone hormones. This is known to inhibit snoring, thus they are less susceptible towards the irritable sounds. Because this actual hormone helps in relieving a person from this nighttime dilemma, some anti-snoring devices are known to use progesterone as their basic ingredient.
Lifestyle and health factors are also thought of as culprits of snoring. These include:
§ Allergies that cause clogs in the air paths.
§ Drying of the nasal cavities due to several elements including allergy medications.
§ Cold and flu, this explains why some people only experience snoring when they are sick.
§ Excessive intake of alcohol.
§ Thickening of the tissues along the nasal passage. Often, surgeries done on conditions not directly related to snoring can also contribute to the frequency and intensity of the snores.
§ Abnormally large belly or guts.
§ Irritation of the air passages due to overuse of nasal sprays.
§ Abnormal enlargement of the tonsils or the adenoids.
§ Smoking which causes inflammation in the air passages.
§ Swelling of the thyroid gland or goiter.
§ Blockage of the airflow due to large tongue.
§ Medications that initiate relaxation
§ Inefficient neural control on the nasal membranes.