Snoring is very common and usually isn’t caused by anything serious. There are things you can do to help yourself if it’s a problem.

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:

  • are overweight
  • smoke
  • drink too much alcohol
  • sleep on your back

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.

See a 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

Treatment for snoring depends on the cause

Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.

Possible cause Treatments
Tongue partially blocking the back of your throat a device you wear in your mouth to bring your tongue forward (mandibular advancement device)
Mouth falling open when you’re asleep a chin strap to hold your mouth closed, or a device you wear in your mouth to make you breathe through your nose while you sleep (vestibular shield)
Blocked or narrow airways in your nose special devices (nasal dilators) or strips that hold your nose open while you sleep, or sprays to reduce swelling inside your nose

Surgery for snoring

Surgery is sometimes used to treat snoring if other treatments don’t help.

But it’s not widely available on the NHS, it doesn’t always work and snoring can come back afterwards.

You can read a guide to surgery for snoring on the website.