Smoking and Snoring: Is This Another Reason to Give Up Your Nicotine Habit?

smokingBy now you have probably been told or read dozens of reasons why you should quit smoking.

You know that the habit is injurious to your health, but did you know that it can also be responsible for your snoring?

This really should not seem so farfetched. After all, air does have to flow through a passageway to your lungs that also happens to be a high traffic area for nicotine.

Considering smoking causes respiratory problems, it makes sense that it would also be associated with snoring.

Why Do Smokers Snore?

Chances are good that it is not enough for you to be told that smoking could be causing your snoring; you need to actually understand why it is happening. Below are a few reasons you should find quite interesting.

Increased Mucus Production

mucus-throatSmoking increases sputum production. The chemicals in cigarettes suppress BIK. This is a protein in your lungs that prevents mucus producing cells from multiplying too quickly, which could lead to a natural death.

So, if this protein is suppressed, the body can produce excessive mucus. It is also known that smoking destroys cilia. In case you don’t know, cilia are the primary mechanism in your lungs that bring excess secretions to your upper airway to be swallowed.

The overproduction of mucus cells in a smoker means excess mucus sits in the small and large airways. This causes an obstruction, reduces overall lung function, increases pneumonia-causing pathogens, and of course, causes snoring.

Weakened Respiratory System

respiratory-systemSmoking weakens the respiratory system. When you inhale smoke it irritates the mucus membranes in the throat and nasal cavity.

This level of irritation results in swelling, and triggers the production of phlegm. The excess phlegm can lead to nasal congestion.

When your upper airway is congested the windpipe does not stay open as wide it should. Therefore, air is not permitted to flow freely. It causes soft tissues to vibrate as it forces its way through, and this results in the snoring sound keeping your partner up at night.

Damaged Lungs

damaged-lungsNo one has to tell you how much damage smoking does to your lungs. We have all seen the scary pictures.

You may have even swore you would quit after seeing one, but went ahead and lit up a couple hours later.

The small vessels in the lungs are obstructed by smoke, which reduces their capacity.

The result is hindered airflow, which leads to snoring.

More Points of Interest

It should be noted that smoke damages nerves of the airway, which promotes snoring, as well. Also, the body goes through a nightly nicotine withdrawal. This causes a disturbance in your sleep patterns. This sleep instability actually increases your risk for upper airway obstruction.

Also, individuals exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk for snoring, too. They are breathing in the harmful smoke that causes irritation and destroys cells, too.

Another reason is that smokers are more likely to drink.

Alcohol is another cause of snoring, so when you pair the two together it is double trouble. The more alcohol that is consumed the floppier tissues in the throat become. This makes it easier for them to vibrate against one another and cause snoring.

Interestingly, it has also been found that the more you smoke, the louder you tend to snore.

Final Thoughts

You already have countless reasons to stop smoking; here is one more. You may be saying you are 50 years old, so the damage is already done, but you are wrong!

You will be amazed at how fast the human body can regenerate cells and heal itself after your last cigarette:

  • Within 48 hours, damaged nerve endings have already started re-growing, and within 72 hours your lungs functional abilities increase. In two weeks your lung function has increased significantly, the risk of heart attack has dropped, and circulation is improved.
  • Between 1 and 9 months after quitting, your lungs have regrown cilia, thereby increasing their ability to deal with mucus. This means your lungs can remain clean, which reduces the risk of infection.
  • Within 10 years you reduce your risk of injury, throat, mouth, and esophagus cancer more than 50 percent, and around 15 years smoke-free your risk of being diagnosed with coronary heart disease is the same as someone who has never smoked.

As a bonus, this could be the one thing you needed to do to stop snoring. Even if you continue to snore for other reasons, at least you improved your health!