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The Snoring Curse

If you are a light sleeper, snoring can test your relationship or stop you having a good night’s sleep. Experts reckon that up to 20m adults are sleep-deprived due to their partner's persistent loud snoring. Although we all snore occasionally, are you one of those sleep deprived people?


Nosie alert 

Snoring happens when air cannot move air freely through a nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces a snoring sound. The tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing.

Reason for snoring

As one gets older, the throat becomes narrower and the muscle tone in the throat decreases. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh in the throat to relax and block the airway.


There are many bedtime remedies, such elevating the head 10cm to ease breathing and encourage the tongue and jaw to move forward. There are lifestyle changes such as losing weight. Quit smoking, as smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat which can block the airways and cause snoring. Avoid big meals late at night, alcohol and sleeping pills.

NHS recommendations 

Talk to your GP about the best treatment:

  • If the tongue is partially blocking the back of your throat, then a device can be worn in the mouth to bring the tongue forward.
  • If the mouth is falling open, then a chin strap can hold the mouth closed, or use a device to make breathing through the nose.
  • If blocked or narrow airways in the nose, then special devices or strips hold the nose open or sprays to reduce swelling inside the nose.

In bad cases, a partner is often kept wide awake and worst case, they are forced to move bedrooms to get a good night sleep. When I was young, I went on cycling trips staying in youth hostels; my nightmare was being caught in a dormitory with a loud snorer. I could escape from the one night curse; many couples remain trapped with the snoring curse.

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Date: 12 April 2021 by max robinson