Snoring is where a person makes a snorting or rattling noise when they breathe during sleep.

The noise comes from the soft palate and tissue in themouth, nose or throat vibrating.

Some people snore infrequently andthe sound they makeisn't particularly loud, while others may snore every night, loud enough to be heard in the next room.

Healthcare professionals use grading systems to assess a persons snoring. The higher the grade, the more severe the snoring is.

The Department for Transport estimates that one in fiveroad traffic accidents are caused by excessive sleepiness. It can also cause accidents with the use of machinery and vehicles, such as cranes and forklift trucks.

Snoring can sometimes indicate a more serious related condition called Sleep apnoea , where a persons airways repeatedly become partially or totally blocked for about 10 seconds throughout the night. See your GP if you wake up gasping or choking during the night.

If your child snores,you should also speak to your GP.

Who snores?

As many asone infourpeople in England snore regularly.

Snoring can affect people of all ages, including children, although it's more common in adultsaged 40-60. Twice as many men than women snore.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissue in your head and neck as you breathe in and out during sleep. This includes the nasal passages, the soft palate in the roof of your mouth, and your tonsils.

While you sleep, your airwaysrelax and narrow. This affects air pressure within your airways and causes the tissue to vibrate. This can also occur if your airways are partially blocked for example, if you have a cold .

Your chances of snoring can alsobe increased by factors such as being overweight , drinking excessive amounts of alcohol , and smoking .

This often involves removing the soft tissue that causes snoring, or preventingthe tissuefrom vibrating by causing it to tighten.

Surgery for snoring is usually regarded as a treatment of last resort. It's important to be aware that surgery can often have a limited effect that doesn't last longer than one or two years. It can also cause unpleasant side effects or complications.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 24 Jun 2016