Snoring is caused when there is a narrowed passageway between the nose and the throat. The passageway narrows because the muscles in your throat are more relaxed when you sleep. When inhaling oxygen while the passageway is narrowed, air will have to move faster than before and will hit the tissues of the soft palate and the uvula with more force causing vibrations which in turn create snoring sounds.
Causes of Snoring
There can be many causes to why one snores when they sleep; anything that causes the air passageways to narrow will likely cause snoring.
Substances that promotes muscle relaxation such as alcohol or drugs that promote drowsiness will cause your throat muscles to relax thus narrowing the air passageway and also causes the tongue to relax and fall back limit the air passageway thus encouraging snoring.
Snoring can be brought on by a stuffy nose which can be brought on by a cold or sinuses. When one's nose becomes stuffy, less air can go through the nasal passage so the throat has to pull air in through the mouth with extra force, which will in turn causes snoring.
The physical makeup of your body can be a cause of one's snoring problems; if one is overweight there will be more fatty tissues in the throat which means a narrower air passageway. Also if one has a long uvula and/or soft palate will also cause a narrower air passage and an increased likelihood of snoring. Other physical characteristics which may bring about snoring include large adenoids and large tonsils, a long tongue, a small lower jaw or a deviated nasal septum.
Asthma and/or smoking can also increase the chance of one snoring due to the irritation and constriction of the air passageways which is brought about.
Sleeping on your back makes one more likely to snore because gravity pulls the tongue and jaw down to the back of the mouth and limits the air passageway.