Why Do Men Snore More Than Women?
There is an overwhelming perception that men tend to snore relatively more than women. However, you might wonder what the reasons behind such a tendency are.
To answer this, we will try to figure out the major causes of increased snoring in men. So without any delay, let’s jump into the answers to… Why do men snore more than women?
The Airway Anatomy of Men is More Prone to Snoring
The most prominent reason behind more snoring among men is the anatomy of the male airway. According to some reliable and extensive studies, the critical difference lies between men and women’s airways.
For instance, the tissues associated with noise are relatively larger in men. This relates to the male soft palate, which plays a key role when it comes to generating snoring sounds.
It covers a large area, which causes the tissues to overlap and create snoring.
Fat Storage Areas
Usually, more fat is stored around the neck in men. When gaining weight in these areas, men snore more. Such conditions increase the chances of collapsing the airway, which results in more frequent snoring in men.
Moreover, obesity plays a vital role in increasing the tendency of a male to snore. Although women also become obese, they don’t snore more frequently. The fundamental difference lies with the fat storage areas.
Usually, men gain weight around the neck and chest. On the contrary, women gain fat on their hips, thighs, and waists. This aspect also lowers the chances of witnessing sleep apnea and snoring in women.
Gaining too much weight not only affects our physical appearance, but it can also cause snoring. More weight means you may face an issue of poor muscle tone. This results in creating more neck and throat tissues.
When a person breaths deeply when sleeping, the throat and neck tissues start to vibrate, causing an increase in snoring.
Men Have Narrower Air Passages Than Women
Generally, men have smaller air passages than women. This is the natural cause of men snoring more. Due to the small size of the airway, it is difficult for the air to pass through.
Therefore, when more air is forced to pass through a tiny passage, the surrounding tissues will immediately start to vibrate. When this vibration increases, it appears to us that a person is snoring.
Excessive Smoking and Drinking
Besides some other reasons, excessive drinking and smoking can also cause snoring. Since the number of women who smoke or drink is relatively low, it clearly suggests that women snore less than men do.
Alcohol causes the muscles surrounding the airway to relax, which can result in a blockage. On the other hand, smoking causes inflammation in the throat and muscles around the airways.
During both these instances, men experience louder and more frequent snoring. By simply losing excess weight and consuming less alcohol, one can lower severe cases of snoring or sleep apnea issues.
The Link Between Male Hormones and Snoring
The male sex hormone testosterone has something to do with snoring in men. The basic function of this hormone is to develop and maintain reproductive tissue.
Nevertheless, this hormone is also involved in increasing the disorder of sleep apnea and snoring. According to a few of the most reliable studies, testosterone can affect breathing while men sleep.
It promotes airway collapsibility, which makes breathing patterns unstable. This concept helps us to gain some idea as to why men snore more than women.
Men Have a More Relaxed Tongue
Unlike women, the tongue of a male adult is more relaxed. This enhances the chances of the tongue to fall back, which causes airway obstruction and then snoring.
On the contrary, the female hormones like progesterone and estrogen cause the muscles of a tongue to contract. This helps to lower the chance of snoring in women.
Difference Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea Experienced By Males and Females
Apart from chronic snoring, the number of people suffering from sleep apnea is relatively low. However, the proportion of men and women who snore is similar in both habitual snoring and sleep apnea.
Usually, the severity of this condition is analyzed by noting down the number of instances when the patient experiences apnea (a state when breathing stops while sleeping) or hypopnea (when breathing is severely reduced).
This typical procedure of measuring the instances of apnea or hypopnea is known as the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Since women are relatively less prone to an issue of complete airway collapse, they exhibit a low AHI score.
Men are more vulnerable to sleep apnea than women. In most obvious cases, the actual cause is the obstruction of an airway. As a result, it gives rise to another more compelling and persuasive theory.
This theory suggests that pharyngeal mechanics are behind excessive snoring in men. Since men have relatively larger pharynges as compared to women, it serves as a cause of more significant changes in the airway.
One of these changes relates to the differences in airway sizes. The airway experiences more obstruction when men are lying down. Moreover, as men age, the size and width of their upper airway also start to decrease.
This not only increases the chances of upper airway collapses in men but also makes them more prone to snoring when compared to women.
There are numerous disorders associated with our body that we can’t control, and snoring is one of them. The factors mentioned above have hopefully explained why men are more susceptible to snoring and sleep apnea.
Moreover, men are more likely to snore as they get older, yet this tendency is relatively low in women. Again, the physical differences between men and women play a pivotal role in deciding which one snores the most.
By knowing the real causes of your snoring, it is possible to address this loud and disturbing issue. It would serve as a way to ensure a good night’s sleep for you and your partner.
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