Guys tend to joke about their snoring. They have no problem admitting that they snore, and they have no problem calling a buddy out on the obnoxious sound they make. Women are generally embarrassed by the subject. Some simply refuse to believe they are orchestrating the nighttime symphony their partner claims is keeping them up at night. Well, if you are a female and you know (or think!) you snore, you are not alone.
Why Are You Snoring?
Just because you never used to be a snorer doesn't mean you are not one now. Snoring can develop at any age.
During normal breathing, muscles open the airways to allow air to pass through. If you are snoring an obstruction is occurring. This is often caused by the soft palate and uvula. They tend to relax into your throat when you fall asleep. So, when air passes through these soft structures they vibrate against one another and also against the soft tissues in your throat. The snoring is the result of the vibration.
Risk Factors for Snoring in Women
Hormones play a huge role in snoring, which is why so many women develop the condition during menopause. Since estrogen levels decrease, muscles in the back of the throat become more relaxed.
Being overweight is another common cause, which often goes along with menopause, as well. When you carry more weight, your diaphragm may not drop as deeply to allow your lungs to expand when you inhale. Plus, extra pounds put more pressure on the airway.
A few other risk factors include drinking alcohol, smoking, breathing through your mouth, and sleeping on your back.
Don't Ignore Snoring Symptoms
Snoring can also be an underlying symptom of a more serious health problem. It has been associated with many conditions, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and metabolic syndrome. You can make healthy lifestyle changes, wear a snoring mouthpiece, and change your sleeping position. If you think your snoring is a sign that there is an underlying medical condition, you should speak to your health care provider.