The cause of snoring

I always like to work out the root cause of a problem before I try to fix it. This is probably why I usually take my car apart before I take it to my mechanic. It's OK, he is used to me towing my car in for services now.

This page is about what actually happens inside a person's body to make the noise we call snoring.

There's another page on what might make a person's body likely to snore here but that's not what this page is about. This page is just about how humans snore.

Anatomy 101

Here's a cutaway picture of a snorer to show you the main bits involved in snoring.

upper airway midsaggital plane

NOTE no actual snorers were harmed in the making of this website.

Sleep Endoscopy Videos

For a good overview, here are some videos made using a procedure called "sleep endoscopy". For this, the snorer is anaesthetised, as they would be for surgery. This puts them in a state pretty close to sleep. It's not exactly the same, but it's close enough to yield some useful information. Next, an endoscope (a thin snakey thing with a camera on the end) is inserted into their airway (usually through the nose) and this allows the operator to move along the airway from nose to trachea and see which bits are flapping in the breeze to make the snoring noise.