Frequently Asked Questions or Ponderings about Women and Snoring

Here's everything you need to know and could possibly want to know about women and snoring, from why it happens to whether it can be treated. 

Question: Can and do women snore?

Answer: Absolutely! In fact, if you have pets, you may even have heard them snore! There is nothing that states snoring is exclusive to men; women can also experience snoring and in some cases is worse than men.

Question: What causes snoring in women?

Answer: Good question! Though there are some subtle differences, the causes are largely the same in women as they are in men. Snoring in women, like men, can be caused by various factors, including excess weight or obesity, nasal stuffiness, sleep position, alcohol consumption (wine ladies!) smoking, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions such as sinus problems, or sleep apnea. Additionally, the anatomy of the nasal passages and throat may contribute to snoring.

Question: Is snoring in women different from snoring in men?

Answer: While the act (and sound) of snoring is similar; potentially there may be some differences in the causes and prevalence of snoring between men and women. Women overall are less likely to snore compared to men, however menopause changes everything about a woman including the likelihood of snoring.

Menopause leads to weight gain in places you may never have imagined! Hormones play a huge role in many changes that a woman experiences. The change may be reflected in the airway which can contribute to snoring in women. This is important to note when women have experienced menopause and are now post-menopause and might wonder why they are snoring now when they didn’t before.

Question: Can hormonal changes affect snoring in women?

Answer: Yes, hormones impact everything, so it is natural to assume that they will impact snoring in women. Hormone levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy for example and potentially affect the airway muscles and increase the likelihood of snoring.

Nothing is worse than being in your late second or third trimester of pregnancy and experiencing a stuffy and/or dry nose and then you are told you are snoring!

Question: Are there any specific risks or health concerns associated with snoring in women?

Answer: There are risks and health concerns with anyone who is snoring. Excessive daytime sleepiness can lead to mistakes while driving for example. The pauses in breathing that you are experiencing while you are snoring may be caused by obstructive sleep apnea or (OSA).

Sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences, including increased risk of cardiovascular problems and hypertension. If you aren’t breathing normally then the body must work harder to get oxygen to the brain which can lead to exertion on the heart!

Question: How can snoring in women be treated?

Answer: Treatment is really the big question. Snoring has different causes therefore going thru the list of potential causes will help direct the treatment. Weight management for example may be the focus for some whereas skipping that nightly glass of wine might be the key for others. Changing position while sleeping may help.

The important thing to note is if you make a change, you should document the outcome of the change. For example, if you start sleeping on two pillows to elevate your head, does your snoring decrease or remain the same.

Also, try not to implement more than one intervention at a time so that you can really see if it is working or not. Lastly, don’t fall for all the highly touted solutions advertised on T.V. or the internet until you can determine, at least in part, why you are snoring. You may need to see a sleep specialist.

Question: Can snoring in women be prevented?

Answer: There is help! This is why I started this website, to help you discover what works best for your situation. Snoring may never go away entirely but there are treatment options to help decrease while helping you evaluate your breathing and sleep habits. Healthy weight maintenance, managing allergies and sinus problems, practicing good sleep hygiene along with avoiding known snoring triggers like alcohol before bedtime can help!

Question: When should a woman talk to their healthcare provider about snoring?

Answer: It is good advice to contact your healthcare provider if snoring significantly impacts your sleep quality, even if it is your partner that is snoring, someone likely needs to be seen! If you are having excessive daytime sleepiness, someone notices your pauses in breathing during sleep, then it is time to get some help!

A healthcare provider can evaluate the situation, conduct necessary tests, and recommend appropriate treatment options.