Are you or a loved one snoring so badly it prevents a good night’s sleep? Millions of people lose sleep because they or their sleep partner spend the night sawing logs. In order to treat snoring effectively, it’s important to understand what’s causing it.

Let’s take a look at the most common culprits behind this problem.

1. Medications

Narcotics, antihistamines, nasal decongestants, anti-depressants, and sleep medications cause snoring by over-relaxing the soft palette and drying out the nasal passages. If you believe your medication is causing you to snore, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about some alternative options.

2. Sinus Problems

Chronic allergies often lead to snoring because air is not able to properly travel in and out of the nose. Since many sinus medications can worsen snoring, turn to natural remedies to treat your sinus problems. Stinging nettles and quercetin are two natural herbal remedies for allergies.

3. Obesity

When you’re overweight, fatty tissue collects around your neck and obstructs the airway when you’re lying down. Obesity-related snoring can lead to a more serious condition called sleep apnea. Overweight people should sleep on their sides rather than their back to avoid suffocation.  Engaging in regular exercise, and proper dieting is always suggested to reduce snoring.

4. Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids

Enlarged tonsils can cause snoring during REM stages of sleep due to obstruction of the airway. In children, excessively enlarged tonsils have been linked to food and environmental allergies. Removing grains and dairy from the diet has been shown to be beneficial in some. In severe cases, enlarged tonsils or adenoids must be removed.

5. Mouth Anatomy

Your mouth anatomy has a lot to do with whether or not you have a tendency to snore. A low, thick soft palette, misaligned jaw, and throat weakness can cause snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Oftentimes, surgery is the only options for those with abnormal mouth anatomy.

6. Deviated SeptumWhat causes snoring?  How can it be stopped?

The soft cartilage in the middle of your nose is meant to separate your nostrils evenly so you can get a balanced airflow in and out of your nose. Unfortunately, up to 80% of people have a shift in this cartilage to one side or another, resulting in a deviated septum. A deviated septum can block airflow out of one or both nostrils, causing you to breathe through your mouth during sleep. This can lead to snoring. Deviated septum can be corrected by surgery.

7. Sleep Apnea

There are two different kinds of sleep apnea that can cause snoring:


  • Obstructive Sleep ApneaObstructive sleep apnea occurs when something blocks the airway from its normal function. This could be caused by a deviated septum, thick soft palette, and/or obesity.

  • Central Sleep Apnea – Central sleep apnea is a bit more complicated as it involves the nervous system. In central sleep apnea, your brain doesn’t send the correct signals to the muscles that control your breathing.

A C-PAP machine is the most common treatment for both types of sleep apnea. Oxygen therapy and medication can also help in the treatment of central sleep apnea.

8. Deep Sleep

Experts say that snoring does not occur during REM sleep but rather during deep, restorative sleep. When a person’s snoring is so loud, it wakes them up, they are not able to stay in deep sleep long enough for cellular regeneration, healing, and proper neurological function.

9. Sleeping Positions

Sleeping on your back can worsen snoring. Those with the tendency to snore should sleep on their side to reduce obstruction. Snore pillows have been shown to reduce snoring by supporting the neck and preventing obstruction.

10. Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can relax the throat and soft palette, which can lead to snoring.

Get Snoring Under Control

If you snore, you and your sleep partner are not getting ideal rest. This is why it’s critical to get your snoring under control. If the thought of surgery or prescription medications don’t appeal to you, there are plenty of natural options.

These include:

  • Losing Weight – Sometimes, just 10 pounds is all you need to take off to make a significant difference.

  • Consuming Less Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol should be limited at bedtime.

  • Using a Neti Pot – A neti pot helps clear nasal debris and allergens so you can breathe through your nose.

  • Limiting Milk – A slight milk allergy is just enough to cause excessive mucous build-up in the sinuses.

  • Using a Snore Mouthpiece – A snoring mouthpiece can be placed into the mouth before sleeping to align the jaw and open obstructed airways.


If you still snore despite natural treatments, you may benefit from a sleep study. Contact your doctor for more information.