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How and why do we snore?

It’s one of the loudest noises a human can make, and the bane of sleepless partners’ lives. James May explains what causes snoring and how we can stop it.

Unfortunately for those subjected to it, snoring is one of the loudest noises a human can make. Noise levels of up to 92 decibels have been recorded, and worse still it's an automatic version of the noise we use to infer derision or to imitate swine.

The physiology of snoring, what is happening is actually quite simple. Snoring occurs when the air passages in our nose or throat are slightly blocked. This causes vibration in the soft palate and the uvula which you can see dangling down the back of your throat (those aren't in fact your tonsils).

A number of factors can cause air blockage: sleeping at the wrong angle, or taking too many relaxants prior to sleeping. Or to put that another way. going to bed drunk.

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