When you go to sleep your airways relax and narrow, changing the inner air pressure within them and making the tissue in your nasal passages, the roof of your mouth and your tonsils vibrate by sucking in the sides of the airways, and thus causing the typical snoring noises.
If the soft tissue at the back of your nose vibrates, your snore will be sharply nasal and not particularly loud. Vibration of the soft palate (just beyond the hard roof of the mouth) and the back of your throat (the dangling piece of tissue called the uvula) produces a louder throaty sound – but most snoring is caused by a combination of areas. In some cases, enlarged tonsils and adenoids (small lumps of tissue, just above your tonsils) can also be to blame.
People tend to snore most when they are in the deepest stages of sleep, around 90 minutes after dropping off.
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