There are many factors that lead to snoring, including sleeping on your back, drinking alcohol close to bedtime, obesity, and the normal aging process. Nasal congestion, maybe surprisingly, is one of the top causes of snoring. If you’re a snorer, read on to find out what’s happening in your nose and throat at nighttime.
How Does a Stuffy Nose Lead to Snoring?
Learn why congestion causes snoring.
1. You start your sleep with normal breathing. When you’re breathing normally, air flows into your nose and through your airway quietly.
2. During sleep, relaxed muscles partially block the airway. The muscles in your throat and tongue relax as you fall asleep, which can partially block your airway.1
3. The partial blockage causes vibration, which is the snoring sound. As you breathe, air passing through the partially blocked airway causes vibrations of the soft palate and uvula in the back and the throat, generating the sound of snoring.
4. Nasal congestion can increase the blockage and vibration. Nasal congestion can obstruct your airway even more, making snoring worse. This can turn a quiet sleeper into a snorer — in fact, severe nasal congestion triples the risk of snoring!