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- Weak muscles in the tongue and throat
- Enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or other obstructions such as a tumors or cysts
- Excessive tissue around the throat due to obesity
- A long, soft palate
- A long uvula
- Deformities of the nose or nasal septum
- Small chin, overbite, or high palate
- Congested nasal passages from a cold, flu, sinus infection, or allergies
- Being overweight
- A family history of snoring
- Use of drugs (central nervous system depressants) or alcohol that act as respiratory depressants
- Lying on back while sleeping
- Nasal obstruction due to a cold, sinus infection, allergy, enlarged adenoids, or injury that has displaced the nasal cartilage or bones
- Long pauses in breathing
- Frequent awakening
- Sleepiness and fatigue during the day
- Slowness in mental functioning
When Should I Call My Doctor?
- If you are overweight, lose weight.
- Exercise to improve muscle tone.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns.
- Sleep on your side rather than on your back.
- Treat causes of nasal congestion, such as allergies or colds.
- Raise the head of the bed up about 4 inches. Use extra pillows or put something under the mattress.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)—airway is propped open by a continuous flow of air. The air passes through a mask-like device that you wear during sleep. It is more commonly used for people with obstructive sleep apnea.
- Mouthpieces—to help position the soft palate and tongue for better breathing
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Treat cold and allergy symptoms.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking sedatives for several hours before bedtime.
- Sleep on your side.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 06/2016
- Update Date: 05/11/2013