'My snoring wakes me up'

Stephanie Chewter says her snoring is so loud she wakes up herself, her partner and their two children.

It has become a lot worse in the past year, which she blames on her weight gain.

Ive put on a lot of weight in the past year, says Stephanie, 35, from Weston-super-Mare. Ive gone from 14 to 20 stone.

Living with her partner and two teenage boys means her snoring isnt affecting just her own quality of life. My snoring drives everyone mad, she says. Ive got two kids and it wakes them up as well."

There are around 15 million people in the UK who snore and it's a conditionthat can ruin friendships, marriages and lives.

Stephanie is studying archaeology and says her disruptive nights can leave her feeling flat inthe day, which affects her concentration.

Her GP explained to her that snoring was caused by the narrowing of the airway during sleep. The noise associated with snoring is caused by parts of the nose and throat, particularly the soft palate, vibrating as you breathe in and out.

At night, muscles that help keep your airway open become relaxed, the airway narrows and vibrates more, making snoring more likely.

Anything which makes your airway relax will make the snoring worse, including alcohol and sleeping tablets.

Other factors, such as smoking , a blocked nose, Indoor allergy and nasal polyps can also increase the likelihood of snoring.

Being overweight by just a few kilograms can also cause snoring. Build-up of fatty tissue around the neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely, causing vibration.

Stephanie has tried sleeping aids such as nasal strips and nasal sprays, but neither have had any noticeable effect.

She finds sleeping head-to-toe with her partner causes less disruption. Its probably because my snoring doesnt seem as loud to him, she says.

But when the decibels rise too much, Stephanie is forced to sleep elswhere. I have to sleep downstairs on a two-seater settee and then the only person I wake up is myself.

Stephanie says she is either going to have to invest in a larger sofa or find a cure for her snoring, because sleeping on the settee has given her back pain.

She knows that her snoring willget betterif she loses weight. I will lose weight eventually, but Im not ready, she says. I just havent got the willpower at the moment.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 24 Jun 2016