Snoring is basically noisy breathing during the sleep which is quite common between men and obese people, however, it can affect everyone including the partner of the snoring culprit. Snoring can be considered cute in rare cases such as when a baby first snores, but for us bigger people it’s far from cute. So why do overweight people snore more than regular size people?.
The snoring sound is caused by tissues at the top of your airway which vibrate and strike each other resulting in the sound we associate with snoring.
Usually, snoring gets worse as you age, but if you are reading this you have also noticed that larger folks tend to rip out some loud snores on a regular occurrence.
So why is it so, what does body size have to do with belting out louder and longer snoring sounds?. To answer this question, you first need to understand how snoring works.
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What Causes Snoring In Obese People?
In many cases snoring itself isn’t dangerous or bad for your health. However it can have drastic consequences when it annoys your bed partner to the point of sleeping in a separate room.
However, it can affect your sleep quality too, especially if you’re a back sleeper and overweight. This is because when you sleep on your back your face neck and head are exposed to the affect of gravity. Which for bigger people means more neck fat to compress the airways. This also puts you more at risk of Sleep Apnea.
So for the best sleeping experience possible, medical assistance is sometimes needed. The best preventative measure you can take is trying to sleep on your side to limit snoring.
So with that in mind, what are the reasons that cause snoring, why do overweight people snore more than average size people and how to treat it?
As previously discussed, snoring occurs when the flow of air through the nose and mouth is constricted causing vibrations. The main reasons, why airflow can be obstructed are:
Reasons The Airways Get Blocked
- Blocked nasal airways. Multiple people snore only when they have a sinus infection or during allergy seasons. Nose deforms such as a structural change in the wall that separates nostrils can cause obstruction.
- Uvula and long soft palate. The uvula is a tissue hanging at the end of your mouth. Both, long soft palate and uvula can restrict the opening from the nose to the throat. The airway is blocked when these structures vibrate and bump to each other and this process causes snoring.
- Weak muscles in the throat and tongue. If these muscles are too relaxed they can collapse and fall back into the airway. This can be caused by drinking alcohol, taking sleeping pills or even a deep sleep. Usually, older people have this condition and people that sleep on their backs.
Huge throat tissue. Children who have large tonsils tend to snore. Also, being overweight or obese can cause huge throat tissue.
- Snoring can be a warning sign of Sleep Apnea which has serious health issues and can cause you to gain weight as a result. Overweight people are at risk of Sleep Apnea which lead into a vicious cycle making it very hard to lose weight.
Your Size Is Relevant To The Amount You Snore
Our physical form and weight are defined by our daily exercising and eating habits, with a certain genetic predisposition. Snoring shows where fat is distributed on our bodies. For example, neck fat can compress the upper airway, especially when laying down which can make us snore more.
If you go to consult the doctor about the snoring problems, most probably he will ask or check your neck size. If your neck is exceeding 40 cm, most probably your weight is the main reason what causes snoring.
However, being fat and snoring isn’t just related to neck fat. Central fatness, where the fat is distributed between your chest and waist, also can increase the amount you snore.
Finally, fat on your chest also compresses the rib cage and the belly fat moves your diaphragm up, which limits the volume of your lungs. Reduced lung capacity obstructs airflow and it results in lack of air which is essential to keep the shape in the throat to avoid it from collapsing.
Overweight Men Snore More Than Women
Now we know why overweight people snore more than average size people, but is there any difference between an overweight Man and a overweight Women?.
Men due to their fat distribution snore more than women. Women often gain fat on their thighs, buttocks, and hips which don’t affect the airways. Which is one the reasons why men snore more than women overall.
Central fat on chest, waist or neck is more common in men, however, women fat distribution, after menopause, is likely to change and they start gaining more fat in the central area which can cause snoring.
How To Prevent Snoring When You’re Obese
People who snore are likely to have less energy during the day because of poor quality sleep. This is something I can attest to being an overweight snorer.
Research has showed that people who get poor sleep, which snoring can cause, find it more difficult to lose weight due to tiredness and stress from sleepless nights. The lack of energy and willpower to begin start exercising can also influence bad eating habits from a bad nights sleep.
All of this creates a snoring-obesity cycle, which can be broken if necessary actions will be taken. Ideally, you need to combine weight loss methods, good sleep hygiene, and snoring remedies. Consulting with a Doctor may also be required, but for many people preventing the severity of snoring can be done from home.
Losing Weight Is Essential For Snoring Reduction
Because the excess body weight around the airways causes us to snore more frequently, it’s the main area of interest in preventing snoring. Losing weight is extremely hard as an obese person, but with the right attitude, diet and 20 minutes a day on a treadmill built for larger people you can slowly loose weight and reduce the severity of snoring.
•Don’t eat before going to sleep. Indigestion can cause discomfort that might disturb your sleep, you should eat your dinner earlier so your stomach will digest the food and you will have a better nights sleep.
•Try to eat smaller portions more often. Big meals make us feel slow and lazy, so eat less, feel more active and improve your metabolism.
•Eat slower. Usually, when we eat fast we don’t feel full right after eating because of the natural delay in digestion. So we can actually be full but our brain still doesn’t realize it yet. Which is why we tend to overeat, something I’m very guilty of. So take your time, eat slower and enjoy your meal.
•Low carbohydrate diet. Reducing sugar and carbs will help you to lose weight quickly and without exercising. If you like to eat sweet, try to change regular sugar with natural substitutions.
Basic Sleeping Tips To Reduce Snoring
These tips if used regularly can result in a healthy sleep mode which can result in less snoring when combined with a healthy diet. While they are basic, many people neglect a few and are often sleeping less than 7 hours a night.
- Set a bed time so your body can get into routine. This will also help you maximize your chances of getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. When you have random bed times, your body finds it hard to adjust which can lead to poor sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine for obvious reasons and alcohol as it relaxes your mouth and throat making it a paradise for snoring.
- Have a shower before going to bed helps you feel clean and relaxed. A dark room will help you sleep better as well, especially during Summer.
- While I love napping, it’s best to avoid late afternoon naps.
- Avoid using the air conditioner in your room when sleeping. Air conditioners make the air dry which can make your nasal and throat become dry as a result. This can contribute to snoring as well.
Simple Snoring Remedies
•Wedge Pillow. Most people while sleeping on their backs tend to snore more than sleeping on their side, but even more so for overweight people. However, not everyone can sleep on the side, so even slight head elevation with a wedge pillow can be effective in reducing snoring while laying on your back.
•Mouthpieces. People who have fat necks tend to sleep with their mouths open because fat decreases muscular tone in their necks. Mouthpiece helps to bring the jaw forward to stop the tongue falling back which can block the airway and cause vibration.
•Stay well hydrated. When you are dehydrated, soft palate and secretions in the nose get sticky and it can cause more snoring. Men should drink around 16 cups of fluids every day, while Women should aim for around 11 cups.
Snoring Is A Symptom Of Obesity?
Basically, overweight and obese people snore more than average size people because of the fat distribution in their bodies. Fat on a neck or central body area are the main reasons that make overweight people snore.
If you have recently gained a few pounds and noticed that you are snoring a lot more, this could be the main reason why.
However, if you use snoring remedies, combine diet and sleep hygiene, you will be able to enjoy quality sleep and won’t upset your bed partner.
Remember, that overweight causes bigger problems than just snoring such as heart diseases, respiratory diseases and many more which should be the main reasons to lose weight and change your lifestyle. The side bonus is that you may snore less and get a more rewarding nights rest.