Can Snoring Cause Sore Throat?

Snoring is a common issue that arises when various structures in the mouth, tongue, throat, or nasal passages vibrate during sleep. These tissues can relax and narrow while sleeping, causing them to partially obstruct the airway and produce the familiar sound of snoring.
snoring causing sore throat

The connection between snoring and sore throat

Is snoring capable of causing a sore throat? The answer is yes. Snoring can irritate the throat and nasal passages, resulting in throat discomfort during sleep.
While bacterial and viral infections are the usual suspects for sore throats, snoring has also been identified as a potential cause. Snoring is often linked to mouth breathing, which can lead to dryness and irritation in the mouth and throat. This, in turn, can trigger inflammation in the throat lining and result in a sore throat. Snoring may exacerbate an existing sore throat caused by other factors.

Waking up with an irritated throat can significantly impact your day, and finding a solution becomes a priority. Around 40% of adult men and 24% of adult women are habitual snorers. If you’re part of this demographic and frequently wake up with a sore throat, snoring might be the cause.

A sore throat, medically known as pharyngitis, results from the inflammation of the pharynx—the fibromuscular tube at the back of the throat. In the United States alone, up to 11 million people are diagnosed with pharyngitis every year.

Sore throats can cause mild discomfort or a burning pain that makes swallowing difficult. So, what is the connection between snoring and sore throats? To understand this relationship, it’s essential to know what happens when you have a sore throat.

During a sore throat, the back of the throat becomes inflamed and red. Tonsils may swell and sometimes produce pus, making swallowing and talking painful. Anything that causes inflammation in the mucous lining can often result in a sore throat, with common causes being viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.

Chemical irritation from drugs or cigarettes can also cause inflammation in the throat. Similarly, physical irritation from air conditioning or shouting may lead to a sore throat.

How snoring can inflame the back of your throat

As mentioned earlier, snoring originates from the back of the throat and nose. It occurs when the air flowing through your mouth and nose is obstructed, causing throat tissues to vibrate as you breathe.

Snoring is one of the physical irritants that can lead to a sore throat. If you already have a minor sore throat from other factors, snoring may further irritate it, resulting in a more prolonged and difficult recovery.

Moreover, snoring associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) puts you at a higher risk for inflammation in your airway. The respiratory tract tends to be stressed in OSA, which often leads to mouth breathing during sleep.

Sleep apnea also causes upper airway inflammation, making you more susceptible to sore throats. In summary, if you snore during sleep, it is likely the cause of your sore throat.

Remedies for sore throat caused by snoring

If you suspect snoring is causing your sore throat, there are several ways to alleviate the discomfort:

  1. Take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to alleviate pain.
  2. Use throat lozenges to soothe the throat and relieve dryness.
  3. Take an over-the-counter nasal decongestant to clear your nose, making it easier for you to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. This can prevent the dryness that results from mouth breathing.
  4. Utilize a humidifier during sleep to reduce congestion and keep the throat lubricated.
  5. Gargle with salt water to kill bacteria in the throat and loosen mucus.
  6. Consume a mixture of honey and lemon, which is packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe a sore throat effectively.

Additionally, you can address the root cause of the problem—snoring itself—by implementing the following strategies:

1. Maintain a healthy weight: Excess body weight, especially around the neck, can put pressure on your airway, leading to snoring. Losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise may help reduce snoring.

2. Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to fall back into the throat, partially blocking the airway and resulting in snoring. Try sleeping on your side to keep your airway open.

3. Elevate your head: Using an extra pillow to raise your head can help open your airway, reducing the chances of snoring.

4. Avoid alcohol and sedatives: Alcohol and sedatives can relax the muscles in your throat, making snoring more likely. Avoid consuming these substances, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

5. Practice good sleep hygiene: Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can improve the quality of your sleep, reducing the chances of snoring.

6. Use a snoring aid: There are a variety of snoring aids available, such as nasal strips, chin straps, and mouthpieces. These devices can help keep your airway open, reducing the risk of snoring.

7. Seek medical advice: If your snoring persists despite trying these remedies, consult a healthcare professional. They may recommend further evaluation or treatment, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for sleep apnea.


In conclusion, snoring is a common cause of sore throats and may exacerbate throat discomfort caused by other factors. By addressing the root cause of snoring and implementing remedies to alleviate sore throat symptoms, you can effectively manage and prevent sore throats associated with snoring.

Additionally, it is important to note that snoring-induced sore throats may be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, which can lead to a variety of health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Therefore, if you suspect that your snoring and sore throat issues are related to sleep apnea, it is crucial to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

In summary, managing snoring-induced sore throats requires a multi-pronged approach that targets both snoring and the accompanying sore throat symptoms. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, using snoring aids, and seeking medical advice as needed, you can minimize the negative impact of snoring on your throat health and overall well-being.