When breathing, notice the flow of air from the nose all the way through our lungs. We may think of it as a subway for an air train. If engaging in strenuous physical activities like lifting heavy objects or exercising, air moves faster causing turbulence and you will notice slight sounds (Huff,Puff). Narrowing in the areas of the air is the main cause of the problem; however, there are several reasons why it narrows. Usually, the back of the throat narrows when sleeping. This area of the throat consists of small vibrating tissues that produce a guttural sound when air is constricted. This is the most common reason of all.
Technically, we use our noses to breathe but there are instances that we are forced to use our mouth. As a recap, our nose plays as a humidifier and a filter in the oxygen that we take into our lungs. Due to allergies, a sinus infection, nasal septum and swelling, the nasal passage becomes constricted. It becomes difficult to breathe this way and as a resort we use our mouth instead. Breathing through the mouth causes more vibration in the tissues that is why “mouth breathers” snore more.
Alcohol and medications are known factors that contribute to snoring because they relax our muscles. When going to sleep our muscles tend to relax even more and the muscles in the throat area constricts the air passage that causes the tissues to vibrate more than usual.