Snoring happens when something is blocking the airways, anywhere between the tip of the nose to the lungs. It's very common, and although it can be noisy for people living with you, it's usually not a serious problem.
One of the most common causes of snoring is when your soft palate (the soft part of the roof of your mouth) vibrates as you're breathing in. It can happen when the muscles that keep the airways open become too relaxed or there is too much tissue nearby, curbing air flow.
When it comes to myths about sleep, this one refuses to nod off -- and stay asleep. Contrary to popular opinion, older people don't need less sleep than the average person. In fact, adults require about the same amount of sleep from their 20s into old age, although the number of hours per night varies from person to person. But many older adults get much less sleep than they need, for a variety of reasons.
Take Harry Gaertner, a 68-year-old retiree from Richardson, Texas. He remembers first being...
If you think you have sleep apnea, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep lab, where they can check to see if you need a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to help you breathe steadily while you sleep. If you're overweight, losing extra pounds may help, too.