Home / Blog June 13, 2024

7 min read

7 Main Causes Of Snoring In Women

Snoring isn’t just a male-dominated symphony! Women can also join the nocturnal chorus due to various factors, including anatomy, weight, sleep position, and underlying health conditions.

What Causes Snoring In Females


Females, like males, can have anatomical variations that contribute to snoring.

Weight gain, alcohol consumption, and sleep position can all influence snoring in females.

Issues like sleep apnea, allergies, and hormonal changes can also play a part in snoring for women.

Did you know?
Snoring isn’t just a nuisance; it can also be a sign of an underlying health condition like obstructive sleep apnea, which requires medical attention for proper management!

Ever pondered the mysteries of snoring, especially when it comes to its occurrence in females? While often portrayed as a male-dominated phenomenon, snoring doesn’t discriminate by gender. In this blog, we unravel the enigma of snoring in women, exploring its causes, implications, and solutions.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Snoring?

Snoring is a common occurrence during sleep, characterized by the sound produced when air flows past relaxed tissues in the throat, causing them to vibrate. This vibration creates the distinct noise associated with snoring. It occurs when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep, allowing soft tissues like the palate, uvula, and tongue to partially obstruct the airflow.

While occasional snoring is typical and usually harmless, chronic snoring may indicate an underlying issue, such as obstructive sleep apnea, where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. In such cases, snoring may be accompanied by symptoms like gasping for air, daytime fatigue, or morning headaches.

What Causes Snoring In Females?

While it’s often associated with male sleepers, snoring can be experienced by anyone, regardless of gender. In females, snoring can be caused by various factors, including:

1. Anatomy: Just like their male counterparts, females can also have anatomical variations that contribute to snoring. This can include a narrow airway, enlarged tonsils, or a deviated septum, all of which can create vibrations as air flows through during sleep.

2. Weight Gain: Extra weight, particularly around the neck and throat area, can put pressure on the airway, leading to snoring. Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during menopause, can sometimes lead to weight gain, which may exacerbate snoring in females.

3. Sleep Position: Sleeping on the back can cause the tongue and soft tissues at the back of the throat to collapse, obstructing the airway and resulting in snoring. This can happen to females as well, especially if they have a tendency to sleep in this position.

4. Alcohol and Sedatives: Consuming alcohol or sedative medications before bedtime can relax the muscles in the throat, making it more likely for snoring to occur. Women who indulge in these substances may find themselves serenading the night with a snoring chorus.

5. Nasal Congestion: Allergies, sinus infections, or other nasal obstructions can make it difficult to breathe through the nose, leading to mouth breathing and snoring in females

6. Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy can contribute to snoring in some females. Additionally, nasal congestion due to increased blood flow to the mucous membranes can exacerbate snoring during pregnancy.

7. Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can contribute to snoring in females. These conditions may require medical intervention to address both snoring and any underlying health issues.

So, if you're a female and find yourself serenading the night with a nocturnal melody, rest assured that you're not alone! Exploring these potential causes with the help of a healthcare professional can help you find the right tune for a restful night's sleep.

Next, let’s look at how to tackle this common sleep experience!

How To Get Rid Of Snoring

How To Get Rid Of Snoring

Here are several tips to help reduce or stop snoring altogether:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight, especially around the neck, can contribute to snoring. Losing weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise may help reduce snoring.

2. Sleep Position: Sleeping on your side instead of your back can help prevent the tongue and soft tissues in the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. You can try using body pillows or specially designed pillows to encourage side sleeping.

3. Elevate Your Head: Elevating the head of your bed by a few inches can help ease breathing and reduce snoring. You can achieve this by using a bolster pillow like our Cuddling, which is ergonomically designed to offer neck and shoulder support as you sleep.

4. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can make mucus stickier and more likely to clog your throat, leading to snoring. Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep your airways lubricated.

5. Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives Before Bed: Alcohol and sedatives can relax the muscles in your throat, making it more likely for snoring to occur. Avoid consuming these substances at least a few hours before bedtime.

6. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding caffeine and heavy meals before bed can promote better sleep quality and reduce snoring.

7. Clear Nasal Passages: Nasal congestion can contribute to snoring. Use saline nasal sprays or nasal strips to help keep your nasal passages clear and open during sleep

8. Try Throat Exercises: Strengthening the muscles in your throat and tongue through exercises like singing, playing a wind instrument, or doing specific throat exercises may help reduce snoring.

9. Use a Humidifier: Dry air can irritate the throat and nasal passages, leading to snoring. Using a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air and help prevent snoring.

10. Consider Sleep Aids: Some people find that using a weighted blanket provides a comforting and calming sensation, which may help promote relaxation and deeper sleep.

A chunky-knit weighted blanket like our Cotton Napper can help relax your body so that you’re not tensed up as you sleep.

In the next section, let’s look at whether or not snoring is normal and if you should just let it pass by instead of actively seeking remedies.

Cotton Weighted Blanket

  2249 Reviews
Cotton Weighted Blanket cta

Dreamy, buttery softness

Calms body & mind for deeper sleep

Hand-knitted huggable comfort

It's Napper Time
Cotton Weighted Blanket cta

Cocoonable, couchworthy perfection

Sleep tips for restful nights

Unveil the secrets to restful sleep and join the Napperhood for a chance to win our perfect weighted blanket, the Cotton Napper. Get expert tips and insights delivered to your inbox.

Cotton Napper cta

Is It Normal For Women To Snore?

Yes, it is normal for females to snore. While snoring is often associated with males, it can occur in sleepers of any gender. The prevalence of snoring in females may be lower than in males, but it is still relatively common.

Now you may be wondering, “Is snoring healthy?” Well… while occasional snoring is usually harmless, persistent or loud snoring, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as gasping for air during sleep or excessive daytime fatigue, may indicate an underlying sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. In the next section, let’s look at the relationship between snoring and fatigue more closely!

Why Do I Snore More When Tired?

When you’re really tired, several factors can contribute to increased snoring:

1. Relaxed Throat Muscles: When you’re extremely tired, your throat muscles relax more than usual during sleep. This relaxation can cause the soft tissues in your throat, such as the palate and uvula, to collapse more easily, narrowing the airway and increasing the likelihood of snoring.

2. Deeper Sleep: Extreme fatigue can lead to deeper sleep, during which your muscles, including those in the throat, become more relaxed. This increased relaxation can exacerbate snoring by allowing the soft tissues to obstruct the airway more severely.

3. Sleep Position: When you’re very tired, you may fall asleep more quickly and deeply, possibly in a position that promotes snoring, such as sleeping on your back. This position can cause the tongue and soft tissues in the throat to collapse backward, further obstructing the airway and leading to snoring.

4. Increased Respiratory Effort: Despite being tired, your body may still need to exert extra effort to maintain adequate airflow during sleep, especially if you’re experiencing sleep deprivation or sleep fragmentation. This increased respiratory effort can result in turbulent airflow and snoring.

5. Stress and Tension: Extreme tiredness can sometimes be accompanied by heightened stress or tension, which can affect the muscles in the throat and contribute to snoring. Stress-related muscle tension can lead to greater relaxation of the throat muscles during sleep, increasing the likelihood of snoring.

Next, let’s look at what could be causing snoring in a woman who never used to have this sleep habit before.

Why Do I Snore More When Tired?

Why Do I Snore Now When I Never Used To?

Here are some possible reasons why you might be snoring now when you didn’t before:

1. Age: As you get older, the muscles in your throat and tongue may weaken, and the tissues in your throat may become looser. These changes can increase the likelihood of snoring.

2. Weight Gain: Gaining weight, particularly around the neck and throat area, can put pressure on the airway and lead to snoring. Even a small amount of weight gain can sometimes trigger snoring in individuals who were previously unaffected.

3. Alcohol or Sedatives: Consuming alcohol or sedatives before bedtime can relax the muscles in your throat, making it more likely for snoring to occur. If your snoring started after a change in your alcohol or medication intake, it could be a contributing factor.

4. Underlying Health Conditions: Certain underlying health conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, or nasal polyps, can contribute to snoring. If you're experiencing other symptoms along with snoring, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for evaluation.

5. Environmental Factors: Changes in your sleep environment, such as sleeping in a room with dry air or excessive dust, can irritate your airways and increase the likelihood of snoring.

6. Stress or Anxiety: Stress and anxiety can lead to muscle tension, including in the throat muscles, which can contribute to snoring.

In the next section, let’s discuss what factors make snoring a concerning experience.

Is Snoring Dangerous?

Snoring itself is usually not dangerous, but it can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition that may pose risks if left untreated. For example, loud or chronic snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. OSA can lead to serious health consequences, including:

1. Daytime Fatigue: The disrupted sleep patterns associated with sleep apnea can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, making it difficult to stay awake and alert during the day. This can increase the risk of accidents, especially while driving or operating heavy machinery.

2. Cardiovascular Problems: Untreated sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. The repeated drops in oxygen levels and increased stress on the heart during apnea episodes can contribute to these health issues.

3. Metabolic Disorders: Sleep apnea has been linked to metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. The disrupted sleep patterns and hormonal changes associated with sleep apnea can affect metabolism and lead to weight gain and difficulty managing blood sugar levels.

4. Poor Quality of Life: Chronic snoring and sleep apnea can significantly impact quality of life, leading to irritability, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and relationship problems due to disrupted sleep and daytime fatigue.

5. Complications During Surgery: People with sleep apnea may be at increased risk of complications during surgery and anesthesia due to breathing difficulties and changes in oxygen levels.

In light of these consequences, let’s turn to some tell-tale signs indicating that you need to speak to a doctor about your snoring!

When To See A Doctor

It’s a good idea to speak to a doctor about snoring if:

1. It’s Disruptive: Your snoring is disrupting your sleep or the sleep of your bed partner, causing fatigue or irritability during the day.

2. It's Accompanied by Other Symptoms: Your snoring is accompanied by other symptoms such as gasping for air during sleep, pauses in breathing, daytime fatigue, morning headaches, or difficulty concentrating.

3. You're Concerned About Sleep Apnea: You suspect you may have obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea can have serious health consequences if left untreated.

4. You're Noticing Other Health Issues: You're experiencing other health issues that may be related to snoring, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or obesity.

5. Lifestyle Changes Aren't Helping: You've tried lifestyle changes to reduce snoring, such as sleeping on your side, losing weight, or avoiding alcohol before bed, but haven't seen improvement.

6. It's Affecting Your Quality of Life: Your snoring is affecting your quality of life, causing embarrassment, relationship problems, or social isolation.

A doctor can evaluate your snoring, assess any underlying factors contributing to it, and recommend appropriate treatment options. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, they may refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation, testing, and treatment.


Understanding the complexities of snoring in females can empower you to take proactive steps towards better sleep health. It helps to identify and address the underlying causes of snoring and other sleep challenges that accompany it.