Snoring: Why Does It Happen & 7 Ways to Stop or Temper It

By Krista


Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Okay, confession time: I have been a ruthless snorer! (But I’m not anymore.)

I didn’t realize that I even snored until my boyfriend and I moved in together, and it became a persistent problem. I had glorious sleeps. Meanwhile, my boyfriend couldn’t exactly say the same. 

After a sleep study and various recordings of my annoying nighttime vocals (and tons and tons of research), we discovered mouth-taping. Problem solved. (More on mouth taping in a minute.)

While snoring might not necessarily be causing you problems (In some cases, it might actually have negative health outcomes! Again, more on this in a second.), others in your household might argue the opposite.

When it sounds like a train is going through the house in the middle of the night, it’s almost impossible to get a good night’s rest. 

So, if you’re a snorer or you’re significant other snores, this article is for you. We’re going to explore the causes and problems with snoring, as well as how you can finally stop!



What is the Main Cause of Snoring?

While there are plenty of endearing snoring quotes like, “I love you even though you snore too loud” or “I love you more than I hate your snoring,” snoring can pose a serious problem for your S.O. and even your own health. It’s likely neither of you is getting a good night’s rest.

And this can escalate, causing problems within your personal life and work life due to declined cognitive functioning and serious fatigue. Not ideal. So, why does snoring happen? Here’s the lowdown.

Snoring commonly happens as airflow passes between relaxed tissue, such as your tongue, airway, or soft palate, which then creates a vibration and a less-than-peaceful noise. Yet, this isn’t the only reason. 

Snoring is more likely to happen:

  • after drinking alcohol (I’ll raise my hand to this one)
  • due to blocked nasal passages (This is why those nasal strips are oh-so-popular!)
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep position (Sleeping on your back is more likely to lead to snoring)
  • even your specific mouth anatomy

Snoring is also more likely to happen if you’re male, overweight, have nasal problems, or have a family history of sleep issues or sleep apnea

Okay, so what’s the problem? If it’s not bothering anyone, do you actually need to fix your snoring?

The short answer: Yes.

The longer answer: Keep reading!

Related Article: The Top 5 Sleep Disorders & What You Can Do if You're Suffering From One



Is Snoring Unhealthy?

Snoring is frequently linked to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is when part of the upper airway is blocked when sleeping.

This can lead to shallow breathing or pauses in breathing altogether, which can be really dangerous! After a brief period of not breathing, many will wake or start breathing again with a gasp, which is something your S.O. may want to watch out for.

If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s definitely worth bringing it up with your doctor. There are various machines and other remedies that can help.

Yet, snoring isn’t always caused by this condition. So, is it still “unhealthy”? Well, sometimes, it really can be nothing to worry about.

Yet, if you:

  • wake up feeling more fatigued than well-rested
  • experience excessive daytime sleepiness
  • begin to have signs of high blood pressure

...this could be related to snoring.

If snoring is interfering with yours or anyone else’s sleep, it’s crucial to get a handle on it.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health, impacting literally everything. If we don’t get a good night’s sleep, our physical and cognitive performance declines. Our emotional regulation gets thrown off. And to put it bluntly, we probably feel a bit like we got hit by a truck. 

This means we don’t show up as our best selves, nor are we able to perform to the very best of our ability. We end up never achieving our full potential. Thus, this probably isn’t something you want to mess around with. So, how can you stop snoring?



How Do I Stop My Snoring?

If sleep apnea has been eliminated as a cause of your or your S.O.’s snoring, here are a few other things you can do:


Switch sleep positions.

Sleeping on your back causes the tongue and soft palate to fall to the back of the throat, which may vibrate and produce snoring.

Try to switch up your sleeping position (And yes, you may need some extra pillows and even time to adjust to this!). Sleeping on your side is the most recommended sleep position (straight from the experts themselves) that can help reduce snoring.


Try mouth taping.

Okay, so if you have blocked nasal passages, this is in no way a good idea.

But this is what worked for me. I have a tendency (and a very bad habit) to breathe through my mouth. If this sounds like you too, don’t worry, we aren’t doomed. Enter: Mouth taping! Simply use a bit of medical tape (make sure to thoroughly hydrate your lips to avoid damage) to keep your mouth shut, and voila, no snoring!


Use nasal strips.

I actually used these for a while too, and they somewhat helped.

These are best when you’re congested or if you have a smaller nose. The strips open up your airway, making it much easier to breathe through your nose. This can actually be used in combination with mouth taping.


Limit or avoid alcohol before bed.

When you drink, the tissues in the throat and mouth become more relaxed.

And this can lead to snoring. An easy fix? Don’t drink alcohol in the hours before bed. 


Maintain a healthy weight.

With excess weight, fat tissue can press on the throat area, causing sounds throughout the night.

For overall health, aim to maintain a healthy weight through a good diet and regular exercise.


Keep a consistent sleep schedule.

Being overly tired can lead to snoring at times.

Thus, it’s best to avoid this entirely! Strive to keep a consistent sleep schedule every night. This means going to bed and waking up at the same times.


Elevate your head by four inches.

If it’s a sinus problem, this can help! By having your head raised, your sinuses can drain properly. This can then make breathing through your nose easier, which means no snoring.

Related Article: 18 Tips For Better Sleep At Night



Stop Snoring; Use the Above Tips!

If you try all of the above but it’s still a problem, you may want to consider discussing options with your healthcare provider.

They may recommend you do a sleep study (as I once did!) to figure out if anything serious is going on. At the end of the day, sleep isn’t something you want to mess with, and if you’re struggling with it, it should definitely go to the top of your priority list.

Read Next: 10 Ways to Help You Fall Back Asleep After Waking Up in the Night

Photo by Kampus Production


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