What Causes Snoring In Women | 7 Major Factors And How To Stop

Snoring is an annoying problem for you and also for your partner.

Discover what causes snoring in women, how to stop it, and how it happens.

After falling asleep, the muscles in the nose, mouth, and throat naturally relax, which makes the airways softer and narrower.

And so the airways vibrate during breathing causing a sound which is called snoring.

Is snoring normal in women?

Almost everyone snores occasionally, and the tendency to snore often rises with age due to decreased muscle tone of the airways.

In women, around 28% of adult women snore regularly.

what causes snoring in women 2

What causes snoring in women?

Although snoring can affect people of any sex or gender, snoring in women has many unique factors.

Medical research related to snoring started to uncover how snoring is affected by female sex hormones and gender.

1- Pregnancy

It is one of the unique causes of snoring in women.

So, what causes snoring in women during pregnancy?

Pregnancy comes with hormonal changes, weight gain, increased blood flow, and swollen nasal passages that can all cause snoring during pregnancy by making the airway narrower.

Estimates suggest that snoring happens in up to half of pregnant women, with over 30% of these women starting to snore in their second trimester.

Snoring becomes more prevalent in the third trimester, but many women notice a significant decrease after delivery.

2- Overweight and obesity

Women who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of snoring.

Obesity causes snoring in women due to excess tissue in the neck, throat, and tongue, which can lead to airway collapse during sleep.

Additionally, obesity can reduce lung volume and interfere with the function of breathing muscles.

3- Nasal congestion

Any conditions affecting nasal passages causing nasal blockages or constriction, such as congestion from a cold, allergies, and sinusitis can cause snoring.

Problems with the nasal septum, or abnormal growths inside the nasal cavity, can contribute to snoring as well.

These conditions can limit airflow through your nose, forcing you to breathe through your mouth, and raising the probability of snoring.

what causes snoring in women 3

4- Menopause

Menopause refers to the cessation of menstrual periods in women with the inability to become pregnant.

Menopause is also one of the unique causes of snoring in women, let’s discover what causes snoring in women after menopause.

During and after menopause, snoring often increases due to hormonal shifts, particularly the decline in estrogen and progesterone, which are considered protective against snoring.

Menopause can also trigger symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and weight gain.

Also, increased risk of obesity, and alterations in breathing patterns during sleep, all of which can lead to or exacerbate snoring.

5- Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism refers to a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormones.

These hormones affect the function of almost all organs of the body.

Hypothyroidism is common in women and those who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant.

So, what causes snoring in women with hypothyroidism is the effect of thyroid hormone deficiency on narrowing the breathing passage.

6- Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring can be one of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

This is a condition characterized by airway narrowing that interrupts normal breathing during sleep.

While snoring itself does not typically disrupt breathing or awaken a person from sleep, OSA can result in frequent nighttime awakenings and increase the risk of long-term health problems.

Although, in the past, doctors primarily associated obstructive sleep apnea with men, recent research highlights that OSA is associated with women too.

It often goes unnoticed in women due to potential variations in symptoms, as women are less likely to report snoring to their doctors.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include frequent loud snoring and short pauses in breathing during sleep.

Frequent awakenings, morning headaches, mood changes, excessive tiredness, and daytime sleepiness are other symptoms of OSA.

7- Smoking, alcohol, and sedatives

Sedatives and alcohol can cause snoring in females by depression of the central nervous system.

This depression leads to excessive relaxation of the muscles of the upper airway.

What causes snoring in women due to smoking is increasing nasal congestion.

Stopping smoking during the night may cause short-term nicotine withdrawal that increases the liability of snoring.

Some medications may also increase the risk of snoring like:



Antiepileptic medications.

Certain antidepressants.


Management of snoring

While snoring is commonly harmless, consulting a healthcare professional is recommended if it persists.

Identifying the specific cause of snoring is important to determine the most effective treatment.

A doctor can assess your symptoms, and recommend treatments and lifestyle adjustments.

causes snoring in women 4

How to sleep without snoring?

Manage obesity

By managing what causes snoring in women, you can stop snoring.

Losing weight can improve muscle function and reduce excess tissue in the mouth and neck to decrease pressure on the airway.

So, if your doctor determines that obesity is contributing to snoring, you should lose weight and keep a healthy weight.

Treat nasal congestion

To treat what causes snoring in women in case of nasal congestion, doctors may recommend a decongestant, a nightly saline nose rinse.

You may need other treatments or surgeries to correct a structural defect such as a deviated septum.

Working with a doctor when using decongestants is advisable, as prolonged use of some medications could potentially worsen nasal congestion.

You can also try breathing in the steam from a shower or using a nasal wash.

Avoid back sleeping

When lying on your back, the tongue can slip backward into your throat, causing the airway to narrow and partially obstruct the airflow.

Sleeping on your side or elevated on a wedge pillow can keep the airway open and reduce snoring.

For side sleeping, you can try sewing a tennis ball into the back of a t-shirt to prevent rolling onto your back during sleep.

You can also try various devices such as posture alarms, and special pillows.

Raise the head of your bed

To correct what causes snoring in women, you can also raise the head of your bed by about 4 inches to reduce snoring.

Practice mouth and throat exercises

Mouth exercises which are often termed myo-functional therapy, may reverse what causes snoring in women.

You can practice daily exercises for the tongue, the palate, and other related muscles to improve the frequency and intensity of snoring.

Try a nasal dilator

When other methods are ineffective in correcting what causes snoring in women, your doctor might suggest trying a nasal dilator.

Nasal dilators are wearable devices that function by keeping the nasal passages open, either internally or externally.

Internally by widening the nose or externally through adhesive nasal strips placed across the outside of the nostrils. 

Get fitted for an oral appliance

Your doctor may recommend a customized oral device, called a snoring mouthpiece or mouthguard to reduce what causes snoring in women.

These devices are custom-fitted by a dentist, they can reposition the jaw or tongue forward, or alter the positioning of tissues to maintain an open airway.

Use a positive airway pressure (PAP) device

To manage snoring, your doctors may recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

This is a machine that delivers pressurized air through a facial mask to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep.

Avoid smoking, alcohol, and sedatives

To reduce or stop snoring, you should reduce what causes snoring in women such as smoking and alcohol intake, especially before bedtime.

If you take medications that contribute to snoring, you can talk to your doctor about adjusting their dosage or exploring alternative medications.

Finally, snoring in women has many unique factors such as pregnancy, menopause, and other causes.

For quiet sleep without snoring, you have to correct what causes snoring in women, you can reduce your weight, change your lifestyle, and try some home remedies.

But if snoring is loud and chronic, or interrupts your sleep with air gasping, you should talk to a doctor for further assessment.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!


You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Author

Categories :