Surprisingly, many people who snore never realize it until someone tells them. Even if the person is awakened by his or her own snoring, the connection is often never made between waking up and having a sleeping/snoring problem.
So the obvious answer to “how do you know if you snore?” is that someone sleeping with or near you will tell you. Even then, a lot of people will shrug it all off, and if the snoring is just sporadic and light caused by allergies or a bad sleeping position, then, sure, you can probably shrug it off and look for some simple fixes.
The question, then, is how do you know when your snoring is chronic and/or potentially problem-causing because of its severity and frequency?
Again, if you sleep with someone regularly, that person will no doubt inform you that your loud and persistent snoring is keeping him or her awake all night, or most of the night. But now to make it easier for the non-snoring sleeping partner to relay the severity of the problem to the snorer comes an iPhone and Android app called Snore-o-Meter. This app allows the offended sleeper to record the snoring of the offending sleeping and play it back the next day for instant proof, along with a digital display of the severity.
Regardless of how you discover that you have a chronic, loud snoring problem, the final question is what to do about it?
Snoring can be caused by many physical problems, overweight being one of the most prevalent. If you’re overweight and wish to stop or ameliorate your snoring, then you need to lose weight.
Nasal problems represent another root cause, and tissue problems with the soft palate and nasal passage can weigh in as well. Once you get beyond the obvious weight-problem cause, things get iffier, and you’ll probably need to be evaluated by a sleep professional to pinpoint the exact cause — and the treatment necessary to eliminate the snoring.
Even if your snoring is not a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — and let’s hope it’s not — chronic snoring can still lead to health problems if left unchecked.
Bottom line, then, is to get an evaluation if you can’t solve the snoring problem yourself through weight loss and/or better sleep hygiene.