Is Snoring in your Genes?
There has been a lot of ‘buzz’ online recently about snoring, and the fact that it might not be as easy to control as a lot of people think. The big question is this… is snoring in your genes?
Is it possible that some people are actually more likely to snore based on genetics alone? If so, how common is it? Is there anything that you can do about it if that is the case?
We did some research, and decided to provide you with the facts. Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Pass a ‘Snoring Gene’ on to Your Children?
According to a study that was published in the journal ‘Chest,’ the answer seems to be yes—though we will also say that it seems that the specifics may be a bit unclear.
According to this study, children who had at least one parent who snored were ‘three-occasions more likely’ to snore than children who had parents with no snoring problems. Of course, our initial thought was that this may pertain to lifestyle.
If parents lead a lifestyle that leads to snoring problems, then isn’t it possible that their children could end up having the same problems? Diet, exercise, and body weight can all really affect how much you snore—so families with poor dietary and exercise habits may just be more likely to snore because of the extra body weight. This is a lifestyle factor, not necessarily a genetic one.
In fact, this point exactly was raised in an article by the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association. Here is a quote from the article…
“Although obesity tends to run in families it is debatable whether it is an inherited trait or influenced predominantly by behaviour and social factors.”
The article also touched on alcohol use and smoking, linking them to snoring and citing that these lifestyle factors may be influenced by your family and/or social circles, though not necessarily hereditary.
But, with that being said, there are certainly factors that are genetic that do play a role.
Which Factors are Hereditary?
According to researchers, it turns out that ‘anatomical abnormalities’ might be the genetic factor that could make the difference when it comes to snoring. Studies show that children are more likely to have anatomical abnormalities that could cause snoring problems if their parents have them.
So, the biggest genetic link, where snoring is concerned, is pretty much based on the shape of some of the parts of the individual’s body… namely, the nasal cavities, the neck, the throat, the mouth, etc. These areas will tend to influence the individual’s ability to breathe under different circumstances, and someone with a neck shaped a certain way, a throat shaped a certain way, a nasal cavity that’s shaped a certain way, etc… may find themselves fighting a more difficult battle against snoring than someone who has differently shaped corresponding body parts.
It is also possible that abnormalities of the chemorecetors could play a very significant role in an individual’s predisposition to suffering from obstructive sleep apnea—which is a more dangerous sleeping disorder, in which the individual becomes oxygen-deprived due to the airway collapsing in on itself during sleep.
What Can be Done about a Genetic Cause for Snoring?
In some extreme cases, surgery could help to correct anatomical abnormalities. But aside from that, adopting healthier lifestyle choices will probably do the most to help you. Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. Get more sleep. Get more exercise. Lose weight. Adopt better eating habits. And last, but certainly not least—if you still can’t kick your snoring habit, then try a stop-snoring device.