Is There a Connection Between Snoring and Sleep Positions?

By: LISA DAVIES

How many times have you heard the advice to simply roll a snorer over onto his or her side, and that should stop them from snoring? For some people this might work, but for others it does little good. So what is the connection between snoring and sleep position, and are there any positions that make the condition worse and any that will stop a person from snoring in the first place?

If you understand how and why snoring happens you are better able to understand the connection between snoring and sleep position. A person snores when the mouth falls open during sleep, and the tissue along the throat and back of the mouth vibrate when air passes over this area. That vibration makes the sound we call snoring. Some also have a tendency toward breathing problems at night, so they may make sounds that are closer to choking or gasping and we also call that snoring. Also, this tissue doesn't always vibrate when air passes over it - open your mouth and breathe right now. Any snoring sounds? It only happens when that tissue gets very dry and then vibrates or relaxes so much that it can't help but to vibrate like this. Unfortunately, this means that there isn't always a connection between snoring and sleep position.

A person can breathe through their mouth and make gasping, wheezing, choking, or snoring sounds even when they're on their side or stomach. When a person changes position like this during sleep, this might serve to force their mouth closed, but not all the time. The snoring sleep position that is most common is when a person sleeps on his or her back, but only because their mouth is more likely to fall open in this position. Often when you're on your back, your head will fall back past the position of your neck and your mouth will fall open, forcing you to breathe through this airway rather than your nose. When you do this, that tissue in the back of your throat is going to get dry due to the air passing over it. But this is not the only snoring sleep position there is, and many people continue to snore even when rolled over onto their side.

It's best to address the problem at its roots and figure out why you're snoring. Sleep position might only be a small part of it.

Sleep Disorders
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Sleep Disorders