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What are the Different Types of Snoring?

Snoring is, to some, an annoying habit they cannot seem to shake off. However, for others, it’s the one thing that keeps them up at night.

No matter what we say about snoring, one thing’s for certain — not all snorers snore alike. Thus, it’s crucial to learn more about all the types of snoring that exist so that we can effectively combat them.

What are the Different Types of Snoring?

Let’s take a look at the four different kinds of snorers out there:

1. Nasal Snoring

If someone says that you are a loud snorer who sometimes sounds like a whistle or rumbling and grunting snore monster, you could be suffering from nasal snoring.

Nasal snoring occurs when something is blocking the nasal passages. Thus, the air has to go through somewhere, so it uses that small amount of space it has left.

The sounds are various. You might be consistently emitting loud rumbling sounds, or you might be even whistling while you sleep. Nevertheless, the causes are quite obvious. Either you have a deviated septum or some other physical obstruction in your nose, or you have allergies and general nose stuffiness.

The most common allergies that are to blame are pet and dust allergies. Furthermore, you might have some mold somewhere in your home that’s been causing you to snore all night long. Some people even tend to snore if they use feather pillows, if they have a cold or if they are on a certain type of medication.

In addition, nose snorers frequently have headaches, as well as bad breath and dry mouth. Because of that, they ought to check with their doctor if their condition can be improved. For deviated septums, surgery is a likely option. However, for those who are just allergic to dust, for example, keeping your home nice and tidy is the right way to go.

2. Mouth Snoring

A close cousin to the nasal snorer, a mouth snorer also suffers from blocked nasal passages. Thus, when they sleep, they often breathe through their mouth. That causes the soft tissues inside their mouth to vibrate and produce a low rumbling sound. Moreover, enlarged tonsils could also be the underlying cause.

In essence, nasal snorers can become mouth snorers if their nasal passages get too blocked. The snorer has to breathe somehow, and the mouth is a good choice. However, that can easily lead to infections, as their nose is not filtering the air that’s passing through.

Mouth snorers are also those people who tend to sleep on their back or on their side.

3. Tongue Snoring

Inconsistent high pitched sounds are most commonly associated with tongue snoring.

This type of snoring occurs because the tongue gets too relaxed. In normal situations, when we lie down, our tongues relax a bit. However, when it comes to tongue snorers, their tongues relax so much that they block the airflow to the lungs.

Most people are actually tongue snorers, and there are many reasons why. Usually, tongue snorers are those who love to drink alcohol or use sleep medication. Furthermore, more fat around the neck can also turn someone into a tongue snorer.

A good way to stop tongue snoring is to use a mouthguard while you sleep. Moreover, since tongue snoring usually occurs when you sleep on your back, anti-snoring pillows and backpacks are also a good idea. These will keep you on your side and prevent you from turning on your back while you’re sleeping.

4. Throat Snoring or Sleep Apnea

Lastly, we have the loudest of them all — throat snorers. However, even though we love to poke fun at them because of their loud snoring, this is the most serious type, and it needs urgent medical attention.

Throat snoring is caused by sleep apnea, which basically means that the person stops breathing several times during the night. It occurs in every sleeping position, and the noise follows no rhythm at all.

Most of the time, those with sleep apnea tend to snore very loudly for a while and then fall silent. Afterward, they suddenly wake up, snort or gasp for air, which indicates that they’ve stopped breathing at some point. However, usually, throat snorers don’t remember these occurrences — they only live through the consequences, such as lack of sleep and moodiness.

When left untreated, this type of snoring can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. As such, it is dangerous and not a laughing matter.

But why is it even a thing? Well, it all comes down to how much the muscles and the tissues in the throat area are relaxed. If the walls of the throat collapse, the air cannot pass through. It’s entirely blocked, and the passages are so narrow that it’s impossible to breathe.

Nevertheless, sleep apnea needs medical attention right away. The most common therapies are the CPAP, EPAP and UAS therapies that use either a respirator, ventilated plasters, or electric impulses to treat the patient.


As we’ve seen, snoring is not always the same in all humans. In fact, most of them are tongue-based snorers, but there are three additional types of snoring to listen for. Thus, there are plenty of ways to combat it, but it all starts with figuring out what kind of a snorer you are.


Clayton Dillon
Clayton, like millions of people, suffers from issues related to sleep. After decades of poor sleep and hundreds of hours of independent research, he decided to create a resource and share his findings with fellow snorers.
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Snoring Source is an opinion-based informational resource for sleep. Snoring Source does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.