By the way, doctor: Is snoring bad for my health?

Q. I'm told I snore at night. I was completely unaware of it. Is snoring unhealthy?

A. About 28% of women ages 30–60 snore regularly. It's usually not a serious problem, unless it's caused by sleep apnea (more on this below). Snoring occurs when air can't move freely through the passageway at the back of the nose and mouth. Soft tissues, including the soft palate, uvula, and — if you haven't had them removed — tonsils surround this area. During sleep, these tissues relax, and air passing through can cause the vibrating sounds we call snoring.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »