Snoring Sounds and Their Types

If you’ve ever laid awake at night listening to someone snore, you know that not all snoring sounds the same. That’s because several types of snoring can occur. Snoring is an indicator that your body can’t breathe properly and the way you are snoring can help you determine what the cause is.

While all snoring should be addressed, severe snoring can be fatal and should not be taken lightly. Thankfully, the causes of snoring are treatable.

If you’ve ever been told that you snore, you might be interested to know what kind of snorer you are, here are the five most common kinds of snoring:

Snoring Sounds and Their Types

1. Mouth-Based Snoring

Snoring Sounds and Their Types-Mintal

Mouth-based snoring occurs when someone breathes through their mouth instead of their nose while they sleep. This usually caused by enlarged tonsils, blocked nasal passages, or weak palatal tissue. If you can’t breathe through your nose when you sleep, your body automatically breathes through the mouth instead. Resolving the cause of mouth breathing can stop you from snoring. For instance, getting your tonsils removed.

2. Tongue-Based Snoring

Snoring Sounds and Their Types-Mintal

If your tongue becomes too relaxed while you sleep, it can result in tongue-based snoring, a more dangerous form of snoring as it can block the airway. This usually occurs in people who drink alcohol, have excessive neck fat, use sleep medication, or sleep on their backs. Cutting out alcohol, losing weight, discontinuing sleep medication, or sleeping on your side can help to resolve this type of snoring. Oral appliance therapy is also incredibly beneficial to those who suffer from tongue-based snoring.

3. Nose-Based Snoring

Snoring Sounds and Their Types-Mintal

Nose based snoring is a result of blocked nostrils, which can caused by a deviated septum, allergies, cold or flu, taking certain types of medications, or smoking. If you find your nose regularly feeling stuffy at night, it’s important to understand why it’s clogged. Once you figure out the cause, you can treat it accordingly. Taking allergy medication, quitting smoking, doing a nasal rinse, using nose strips, or getting corrective surgery for your deviated septum can all help to alleviate snoring.

4. Throat-Based Snoring

Snoring Sounds and Their Types-Mintal

Throat based snoring is the loudest type of snoring you will hear and it’s usually also the most dangerous. Throat snoring is usually a strong indicator of sleep apnea. When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing at night due to an obstruction in your airway. This causes your body to begin to choke or cough to open your airway to allow you to breathe again. This vicious cycle known as apnea can occur hundreds of times throughout the night. As a result, you will snore and not get a solid night of quality sleep.

5. Multifactorial Snoring

Snoring Sounds and Their Types-Mintal

With this type of snoring you’ve got multiple organs working against you and your snoring could be caused by a combination of your nose, mouth, tongue, and palate.

In all cases, there are multiple issues that need to be addressed to put a full stop to multifactorial snoring as it is not restricted to a single cause or solution. As there are multiple things that prevent proper oxygen flow throughout the night, you’re going to need a sophisticated solution best discussed with a medical professional you’re comfortable with.

It must be noted that although you might identify as a certain type of snorer, it does not definitively mean that other parts of your upper airway are not involved in the problem you are experiencing. Now that you’re equipped with a little bit of knowledge about what type of snorer you might be, you can get to the root of the (slightly loud, likely obnoxious) problem.

All types of snoring can be investigated with our exclusive sleep quiz, and lifestyle changes such as changing your sleep position, eating healthy and exercising, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol and sedative use, can help you get to the bottom of your snoring issues.

Can snoring be relieved?

Yes! By taking the right steps you may be able to relieve your snoring.

Snoring Sounds and Their Types-Mintal

If your diet is the cause of your snoring, limit alcohol, avoid high-fat diets, exercise moderately, and maintain a healthy weight. If you are a smoker, consult with your doctor about how you can quit.


People who often snore should avoid beds that are too soft and choose a pillow that is about 10 ~ 12 cm and supports their neck to keep airways open. Studies have also shown it is best to sleep on your right side to prevent soft tissue from falling back and blocking the airway. Additionally, it is recommended that you use a humidifier to keep the air in your bedroom moist.

Tap here to get more sleep science.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *