Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When you’re sleeping the muscles that hold the throat open while you’re awake relax, narrowing the upper airway.
Snoring is caused by air being forced through the narrow passage. This airway can also be narrowed or obstructed due to large tonsils or tongue, a smaller than normal jaw or excessive tissue in the back of the throat.
Your brain senses when breathing is difficult and wakes you up to fully open the throat. You then breathe normally and begin to fall back to sleep. However, the airway narrows again reawakening your brain over and over again throughout the night. The awakenings are so brief you won’t remember them, although they will affect how rested you feel the next day.
Snoring can seem funny, but it's no laughing matter. It may be the symptom of a disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.