Snoring is very common and usually isn't caused by anything serious. Simple lifestyle changes can help stop or reduce snoring, see below.
Causes of snoring
Snoring is caused by things such as your tongue, mouth, throat or airways in your nose vibrating as you breathe.
It happens because these parts of your body relax and narrow when you're asleep.
You're more likely to snore if you:
Sometimes it's caused by a condition like sleep apnoea, which is when your airways become temporarily blocked as you sleep.
How you can help relieve snoring yourself
Simple lifestyle changes can help stop or reduce snoring.
- trying to lose weight if you're overweight
- sleeping on your side – try taping a tennis ball to the back of your sleepwear, or buy a special pillow or bed wedge to help keep you on your side
- not smoking
- not drinking too much alcohol
- not taking sleeping pills – these can sometimes cause snoring
When to see your GP
You should see your GP if:
- lifestyle changes aren't helping
- your snoring is having a big impact on your or your partner's life
- you feel sleepy during the day, or make gasping or choking noises while you sleep – you may have sleep apnoea, which can be serious if not treated
Your GP will look inside your mouth and nose to check for any problems that might be causing your snoring.
It can help to bring someone with you to your appointment who can describe what your snoring is like, such as a partner.
Your GP may refer you to a specialist for treatment or further tests if they're not sure what the cause is.
Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.
Surgery for snoring
Surgery is sometimes used to treat snoring if other treatments don't help.
You will be advised if this would be a suitable treatment for you following specialist assessment at the hospital.
More useful links
The information on this page has been adapted from original content from the NHS website.
For further information see terms and conditions.