About British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association (BSSAA)

Since people snore for different reasons, it’s important to understand the causes behind your snoring. Once you understand why you snore, you can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep—for both you and your partner.


Why do we snore only when sleeping?

It's most common when we sleep as our throat muscles relax and this can cause airways to narrow. This is because our muscle tone is reduced during sleep and there may be insufficient muscle tone to prevent the airway tissue vibrating. During waking hours muscle tone keeps the airway in good shape.

How to 'Stop" Snoring?

Snoring is something that cannot be stopped at will, neither is it something that can be 'cured'. It can however, be successfully controlled. Snoring is caused by a physical abnormality that needs to be identified before a control can be found, we can break the cause down to different "types" of snoring.

Types of Recognised Snoring

The type is based on where your snoring originates, this can be multiple areas:
1. Tongue
2. Nose
3. Mouth
4. Multifactorial

If you're not sure take our online test to find out what type of snorer you are and what treatments could help control your snoring.

Contributing Factors

Your Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. While you can’t do anything about growing older, lifestyle changes, new bedtime routines, and throat exercises can all help to prevent snoring.

Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight in general, carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring. Exercising and losing weight can sometimes be all it takes to end your snoring.

The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary. Again, while you have no control over your build or gender, you can control your snoring with the right lifestyle changes, bedtime routines, and throat exercises.

Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.

Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.

Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway. Changing your sleep position can help.

The Causes of Snoring

It is said that snoring is often the result of overindulgence in some of life's pleasures. The following are the causes of snoring and by controlling them, you can become quiet at night.

* Overeating and/or Lack of Exercise
* Alcohol and Sleeping Pills
* Smoking
* Sleeping Position
* Allergy
* Nasal Stuffiness
* Mouth Breather
* Small or Collapsing Nostrils
* Tongue Base Snorer
* Multifactoral Snoring

Sleep Apnoea in Women

Snoring and sleep apnoea are generally considered to be conditions affecting men. It is accepted that most men snore but it is not very ladylike for women to snore. This may be one reason why women are reluctant to seek help. However, what is not recognised is that women tend to present with different symptoms to men that are often overlooked when seeking help.

As a consequence their condition remains undiagnosed or often misdiagnosed. When considering these atypical symptoms it becomes clear that hormones and airway anatomy play a prominent role in women who snore and most importantly, explain the different mechanisms between women and men. Identifying the atypical symptoms of women is paramount to an early diagnosis and successful treatment.

Browse BSSAA Snoring Store to find the right product >