Nearly half of adults snore on occasion, and a quarter of them do so regularly.
Perhaps you’ve unexpectedly joined their ranks. You may wonder to yourself, why am I suddenly snoring? Perhaps you worry that there’s something bigger going on with your health — sometimes, loud breathing at night can be indicative of this.
Here’s what you should know.
Why Am I Suddenly Snoring?
The truth is, most cases of snoring are totally benign. In other words, there’s probably nothing to worry about.
Snoring happens when the throat relaxes, causing it to narrow. When the tongue relaxes, too, the combination causes an obstruction of the windpipe. So, as you breathe, the walls of your throat vibrate and make this loud noise while you sleep.
For some people, snoring may occur simply because they are sleeping in a new or strange position. Laying on your back, for example, tends to contribute to snoring more than other ways of resting. Side sleeping can help alleviate position-caused snoring.
As people age, their muscles start to relax, too. And, as we know, relaxed muscles are a major factor in snoring. So, as you get older, you may notice your snoring getting worse and worse.
A night of partying can also cause snoring. Alcohol relaxes the muscles — and, when that happens, snoring is soon to follow.
When is Snoring Dangerous?
Now, let’s say your snoring has appeared out of nowhere, and your symptoms don’t match up with the above-mentioned benign causes.
Your best bet would be to consult with an ENT doctor to diagnose the reason that you’ve picked up this habit. You may have developed a common, yet somewhat dangerous condition called sleep apnea.
Twenty-two million Americans have sleep apnea, so it’s not a rare diagnosis at all. However common, though, the side effects of the condition are a bit scary. If you have sleep apnea, you briefly stop breathing throughout the night while you rest.
Obviously, you won’t notice if you stop breathing for a few minutes while you’re asleep. But you may wake up and experience other symptoms of sleep apnea. They include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
Your partner may also hear you snoring loudly and pausing every so often. They might also hear you gasping for air in the middle of the night.
These are major signs of sleep apnea, and ones that should not be taken lightly. As we previously suggested, if you suspect you have sleep apnea, you should see a doctor. They can diagnose the problem and provide potential solutions, such as oral implements to help you breathe better while you snooze.
Rest Well Once Again
It’s no secret that your nighttime noise-making had you wondering, why am I suddenly snoring? However, chances are, you’re just resting in a strange position, aging or recovering from a night of imbibing. So, sleep easy knowing that you’re healthy.
If your snoring comes with other symptoms, such as fatigue or a sore throat, it may be a sign of a more serious condition, sleep apnea. And, in that case, you should see a doctor — and get started on a treatment path that helps you rest well once again.
Be sure to check back with us for more health and wellness updates.