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Can Snoring Make You Tired? Sleep Quality Answers

Can Snoring Make You Tired? Sleep Quality Answers

No one wants to snore, but many people assume that snoring only impacts the people around you. But your partner or roommate isn’t the only one whose sleep quality suffers from your snoring.

If you’re snoring as you sleep through the night, your sleep quality is suffering whether you realize it or not. Continue reading to learn exactly what snoring is, the major types of snoring, and how snoring can make you tired during the day.

What is Snoring

Everyone’s familiar with the sound of snoring, but understanding the mechanics of snoring helps us understand how it can negatively impact your sleep. Many factors can impact your odds of snoring, including gender, weight, related disorders, and age.

Image source: TheSleepDoctor.com

Nearly everyone is prone to snoring once in a while. If you don’t usually snore, you don’t need to worry about snoring affecting your sleep quality. Habitual snorers, however, experience lower quality sleep than non-snorers.

Snoring occurs for one of three reasons: the nasal passages are blocked, the tongue is too relaxed, and/or the muscles in the back of the throat are too relaxed. In all cases of snoring, the sound of snoring is created as air forces its way through semi-blocked pathways.

Four Types of Snoring

There are four major sources of snoring: nasal snoring, mouth snoring, tongue snoring, and throat snoring / sleep apnea. 

  1. Nasal/Nose Snoring

Nasal blockage leads to nose-based snoring. When you’re feeling congested from a cold or illness, you’re likely to experience nasal snoring as you sleep. Other common causes of nasal snoring include allergies, a deviated septum, mold, and even smoking. 

Image source: FortWorthENT.com

When something is blocking the nasal passages, the air must force its way through the small space left. That’s why nasal snoring can sound like rumbling or whistling.

  1. Mouth Snoring

When a person breathes through their mouth instead of their nose, mouth snoring occurs. Mouth snoring is typically caused by severely blocked nasal passages, weak palatal tissue, or enlarged tonsils. 

Image source: UCSFHealth.com

In essence, if you are physically unable to breathe through your nose, your body has no choice but to breathe through your mouth. This can easily develop into a habit of mouth breathing at night.

 As you breathe through your mouth, the soft tissue in the mouth vibrates to create a low rumbling sound. Fortunately, habitual mouth snoring can be safely solved with the use of an anti-snoring chin strap. Chin straps keep your mouth closed at night to encourage nostril breathing and eliminate the habit of unnecessary mouth breathing.

  1. Tongue Snoring

A too-relaxed tongue can also be a source of snoring. When the tongue is overly relaxed, it can block airflow to your lungs. Tongue snoring is an extremely common form of snoring. It’s characterized by a variety of high pitched sounds or whistle noises.

Image source: Toepperwein Dental

 Individuals who rely on sleep medications, drink alcohol, are overweight, or even just sleep on their back are more prone to tongue snoring. Using a night mouthguard can effectively stop the tongue snoring habit. Stopping sleep medications, reducing alcohol intake, losing weight, and sleeping on your side can also help to reduce tongue snoring.

  1. Throat Snoring / Sleep Apnea

The most dangerous form of snoring, throat snoring (commonly associated with sleep apnea) can cause a variety of other health problems. Individuals suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing at night due to blockages in the airway. 

These blockages are caused by tissue in the back of the throat collapsing during sleep, blocking airflow.  As breathing stops, the body forces a choke or cough in order to open up the airway again. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, and you should always consult a doctor if you think you may be suffering from it.

Why Does Snoring Make You Feel Tired?

Although snorers may appear to be sleeping soundly throughout the night, this often isn’t the case. 

Particularly, sleep apnea sufferers can stop breathing many times per night, creating a vicious cycle of disturbed sleep. Research shows that individuals with sleep apnea may briefly wake up 50+ times in an hour. Although the sleeper won’t remember these “micro-arousals”, their sleep is constantly interrupted, leading to fatigue during the day.

Similarly, nasal, mouth, and tongue snoring also lead to disrupted sleep patterns which contribute to daytime drowsiness. If snoring is loud, the snorer may wake themselves up without realizing or remembering it. These micro-arousals cause countless disruptions during the night.

Image source: Nature.com

Regardless of the source, constantly waking up (no matter how briefly!) blocks your ability to achieve REM sleep and deep layers of restorative rest. The first step to unlocking deeper sleep is to discover what type of snoring is disturbing your sleep at night, and finding the appropriate solution. Snoring does not have to cost you your rest! 

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