Snoring is considered an annoying social problem that irritates bed partners and family members. But there's more to this sleep disorder that affects nearly half the adult population.
Why do people snore in their sleep? Snoring is the sound that results when breathing is obstructed. Some factors that lead to snoring include poor muscle tone, a long soft palate, and bulky tongue muscle tissue. Snoring might also be a warning sign that you're suffering from a condition that interferes with your breathing during sleep. Such conditions include nasal polyps, sinus infections, or a deviated septum.
Poor muscle tone causes partial collapse of the palate and tongue while you sleep, reducing the size of the breathing passage. That causes the palate to vibrate as you struggle to pull the air through the restricted route. While it's easy to dismiss it as a bothersome habit, snoring can be a sign of a severe medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).