What causes snoring?

Is it really possible to ‘cure’ snoring? And if you snore, why is it important to know the reason?

Why do we snore?

Some people snore because of the shape of their nose or jaw. If you have an enlarged tongue or tonsils or carry excess weight around the neck, you’ll also be prone to snoring. Other factors that can cause you to snore, or snore more loudly, include fatigue, excess weight, pregnancy, sleeping on your back, and drinking alcohol before bed.



When we’re asleep, the muscles in our necks relax. Sometimes, they relax so much that the upper airway partially closes, narrowing the passageway through which air travels to our lungs. This narrowing makes the air vibrate in your throat when you breathe, causing the familiar sound of snoring.

Facts about snoring

Snoring is common

It’s estimated that 40% of the investigated population reported snoring, proportion is age-dependent1

Family and partners
lose sleep

95% of snorers say that their snoring bothers their family or partner2

Snoring and commorbities

Snorers are 1.6 times more likely to develop arterial hypertension within four years of beginning to snore3

People who snore may also have sleep apnoea

1 in 3 men and 1 in 5 women who snore could suffer from sleep apnoea4

Click through for your online sleep apnoea assessment

A proven treatment

An oral appliance like Narval successfully stops loud snoring in almost 8 of 10 people who use it5

Snoring can also be a sign of a serious medical disorder: obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

OSA is a sleep breathing disorder that’s characterised by breathing pauses called apnoeas. These last for 10 to 30 seconds or more and can be repeated more than 30 times per hour. These apnoeas lead to micro-awakenings that disrupt your sleep and affect your quality of life and your health. OSA affects about 3-17% of the male population, but more than 80% of patients are not diagnosed.6



    1. Ohayon, M.M., et al., Snoring and breathing pauses during sleep: telephone interview survey of a United Kingdom population sample. BMJ, 1997. 314(7084): p. 860-3.
    2. A+A Healthcare study undertaken with 95 patients who wore Narval CC (Equinox in France) in 2011.
    3. Hu, F.B., et al., Prospective study of snoring and risk of hypertension in women. Am J Epidemiol, 1999. 150(8): p. 806-16.
  1. Lechner, M., et al., Snoring and breathing pauses during sleep: interview survey of a United Kingdom population sample reveals a significant increase in the rates of sleep apnoea and obesity over the last 20 years – data from the UK sleep survey. Sleep Med, 2019. 54: p. 250-256. You can say that 1 in 5 snorers (men or women) could suffer from sleep apnea.
  2. Vecchierini MF & al. A custom-made mandibular repositioning device for obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome: the ORCADES study. Sleep Med. 2016 Mar;19:131-40. doi: 10.1016.
  3. Young T, Evans L, Finn L, Patta M. Estimation of the clinically diagnosed proportion of sleep apnoea syndrome in middle-aged men and women. Sleep 1997; 20: 705-706.
  4. Sleep-disordered breathing affects 34% of men and 17% of women aged between 30-70 Peppard et al. Increased Prevalence of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 (5.17).