Snoring is the term for sounds produced by the partial obstruction of breathing in sleep. Snoring represents vibration in tissue as the person is trying to suck air in. It has high incidence, being found in twenty percent of men and five percent of woman in the thirty-to-thirty-five-year old age group. Snoring increases with age, so that at sixty years of age, sixty percent of men and forty percent of women snore. The increase in the incidence of snoring in women in the later years is a result of the loss of tone of the throat muscles. The female sex hormones that previously maintained the tone are lost after menopause.Fortunately, the vast majority of the people who snore do not have a medical problem. If the person snores but has no daytime sleepiness and has never been observed to stop breathing, and if his or her blood pressure is normal, then the snoring is not a medical problem. However, it may still represent a tremendous problem for the bed partner. A snorer who is without symptoms or any other medical problems probably does not need detailed sleep testing. But it is a good idea to have a medical assessment just to be on the safe side.Snorers are usually unaware of their behavior at night and the sounds that they produce. Because they are asleep, they cannot hear themselves, so they depend upon you to differentiate mild snoring from obstructive sleep apnea. Sometimes a tape recording is of value. Understanding the mechanisms for snoring often leads to lifestyle changes that may help control the problem. Losing weight, stopping alcohol intake and smoking, establishing a regular sleep pattern, all are methods to decrease snoring and in general to promote a healthier lifestyle.Women with no prior history of snoring may start snoring during pregnancy. Not all snoring that comes on during pregnancy is related to sleep apnea. In fact, few of the women who snore during pregnancy have sleep apnea. Snoring in pregnancy can be related to several factors. Increased hormonal levels during pregnancy are the more likely cause at this time. Progesterone, a breathing stimulant, may actually protect the pregnant woman from sleep apnea. In some women, the nose becomes stuffed up because they have put on too much weight and the upper breathing passage has decreased in size. It is also believed that some hormones that increase in pregnancy might relax certain tissues and make the breathing passage floppier. Most of the time, snoring in pregnancy is not a problem, but a woman might want to discuss the symptoms with her doctor to make sure it is not an indication of sleep apnea or a marker of preeclampsia.And finally, if you are a snorer, try this tip; sing for 15 minutes every day which will strengthen your throat muscles. In a recent study, those that did this exercise did snore much less.