Are You a Seasonal Snorer?

Causes, Science

Are You a Seasonal Snorer?

You may have noticed that your snoring gets worse at a particular time of year. If so, you could be a “seasonal snorer”.

Whether it’s a summertime allergy, a winter cold or changes in the weather, there’s plenty of reasons why you may be putting SnoreLab through its paces in January but scoring single digits in July.


A leading cause of seasonal snoring is allergies, particularly dust allergies or the pollen allergy better known as hay fever. This is where your body launches into infection-fighting mode in reaction to harmless things.

As allergens get into the body mainly through the nose, this is the area that is most affected. Increased blood flow and release of inflammatory molecules makes your nose stuffy and forces you into noisier mouth breathing.

Allergy-related snoring isn’t just a summertime phenomenon. Whilst hay fever is at its worst during the warmer months (though there are types of pollen prevalent at other times of the year [1]), dust allergies are more likely to strike in winter as windows and doors stay closed trapping dust more readily.

These are some useful strategies to cleanse your environment of the allergens which could be triggering your snoring:

  • Shower before bed. Having a shower before going to bed will rid your hair and body of allergens that may have stuck to you throughout the day. It is also great for normal sleep hygiene as it lowers your body temperature, preparing you for sleep.
  • Wash bedding more often. It is also a good idea to dry laundry away from open windows if you suffer from hay fever.
  • Clean your surroundings. Pollen and dust can also stick to surfaces such as carpets and other soft furnishings. Thorough vacuuming can help, especially if your vacuum cleaner has a built in HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, as this traps allergens.
  • Consider swapping-out soft furnishings. If your allergies are really affecting you and making your snoring intolerable, it might be time to get rid of the carpets and drapes/curtains in your home. The drastic measure could make drastic differences to your snoring.

Snoring related to allergies can also be effectively managed using these consumer remedies:

  • Neti pots. These use salt water to flush out allergens and soothe inflamed tissue.
  • Air purifiers. These are designed to remove allergens from the air.
  • Nasal sprays can be medicated or non-medicated. Both aim to reduce inflammation. Mast cell inhibitor sprays are a good preventative measure for hay fever sufferers.
  • Antihistamines are a type of anti-inflammatory medication commonly used by allergy sufferers.

A cold

The common cold is brought on by a range of viruses that attack the upper respiratory tract. This invasion coupled with your body’s own defense mechanisms cause your nose to swell and become blocked.

The science bit – why does cold weather increase the chance of the common cold?

Contrary to popular belief, the cold weather itself doesn’t directly make you ill. The colder temperatures simply make you more susceptible to viral infection. This is because we spend greater time indoors where infection can spread more easily. We also have less exposure to protective vitamin D and it is thought that cold weather can dampen the initial immune response when we encounter the common cold.

When your nose is blocked you have to make the switch to mouth breathing which can aggravate snoring. This is because open-mouth snoring narrows the airway and makes inhaled air more turbulent.

You can remedy your cold-induced snoring with:

  • Cold relief medication
  • Neti pots. These simple devices use salt water to soothe your nasal passages and clear excess mucus.
  • Nasal sprays. Anticholinergic nasal sprays are the best type for treating a runny nose, whereas decongestant nasal sprays can be an effective symptom reliever.


A cool bedroom around 16°C (61°F) is said to be the ideal temperature for sleeping.

But does this affect snoring?

Scientists have looked into the impact of ambient temperature on sleep apnea severity. They have produced some interesting (and seemingly conflicting) results.

A retrospective study of over 7,000 people found that the average AHI during the warmer months was lower compared to during the colder winter months [2].

A second piece of research confirmed this. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea were split into three groups – one group of patients slept in a 16°C (61°F) room, another at 20°C (68°F) and the remaining at 24°C (75°F). The group in the coldest environment experienced the most apnea events. Confusingly, the same group scored the best in terms of alertness and also reported feeling the least sleepy of the three groups [3]!

Weather changes

Many people who suffer from joint pain claim they can tell when a weather front is moving in due to the atmospheric pressure changes [4]. There is also some evidence to suggest that weather and pressure can affect sleep apnea!

In a study in 2010, more than 500 patients with sleep apnea were observed – the weather was documented alongside the patients’ AHI scores.

When bad weather was rolling in and atmospheric pressure dropped, on average the patients’ sleep apnea worsened [5].

These findings have also been supported by other research into the effect of altitude and pressure on sleep apnea. A case report on a patient with sleep apnea in Colombia found that their AHI scores were greater when at higher altitudes where the atmospheric pressure is lower [6].


There is evidence to suggest that breathing in dry air can aggravate the tissues in your nose and throat [7]. So whilst low-humidity is unlikely to be the outright cause of your snoring, it can cause irritation and inflammation which could worsen existing snoring.

Humidifiers can therefore be a useful addition to other anti-snoring measures. Further, they can provide relief from the symptoms of allergies and the common cold – other big causes of “seasonal snoring”.

SnoreLab’s guide to buying a humidifier


Stop Snoring by Treating Allergies – Jenny’s Story

User Stories

Stop Snoring by Treating Allergies – Jenny’s Story

Sometimes, people snore for years and just accept it as an inevitability – something that can’t be fixed.

When you understand your triggers with SnoreLab, a lot of snoring can be remedied through some very basic but important changes. We always like to hear from users who are spurred on to make positive changes when they see and hear their SnoreLab results.

Jenny has slept in a separate room to her husband for the last five years because of her snoring. SnoreLab has given her valuable insights and she has effectively eliminated her snoring in two days!

Jenny first contacted us on Facebook with concerns about her high Snore Score:

Great App. I have been using it for the past five days. I have seen and heard my results – horrified! My husband has refused to sleep in same room as me for the past five years! We have settled into a routine but it’s lonely.

My readings started at 124, and last night it reached 199 with snoring at the epic level for 70% of the time that I am asleep.

At some point, I am quiet for 30 minutes but then go straight back to epic snoring! Help – is this dangerous?

People often ask us if they should be worried about a high Snore Score. Our reply to them and Jenny is to ask yourself if you think your snoring is negatively impacting on your physical, mental or social wellbeing, or if you are having very poor sleep.

Whilst loud snoring is linked to an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea, a high Snore Score doesn’t mean you definitely have the condition.

Jenny hadn’t been sleeping in the same room as her husband for many years, so whilst she may not be feeling physical ill effects of poor sleep, the situation she found herself in as a result of snoring was still not good.

We gave Jenny some advice on what to do if she was concerned about her snoring. A couple of days later we received this reply:

I have great news. Despite suffering for years and trying sprays, nose plugs, mouth guards and finally banishment to the spare room – after more than five years I have had two completely snore-free nights thanks to SnoreLab! So happy!

I was in hospital on Christmas day with anaphylactic shock, I then had two bad asthma attacks this month. I mentioned to my doctor that I am worried that my snoring is causing an issue. She said she may put me in sleep clinic but it could take a while even if I get accepted.

So I searched the internet and found SnoreLab. I downloaded the app and for the first week I recorded my snoring and scored 199 with 70% of my snoring at the epic level. I cried!

I joined the Facebook page for advice and read some articles. Having had problems with asthma for many years, I thought that maybe allergies were causing my problem.

So this weekend, my husband helped me to clear my bedroom and throw away my ancient bed I have had for twenty years along with all bedding and feather pillows and toppers. We cleaned, vacuumed and aired the room.

I also bought an electric bed so I could raise my head. I bought hypoallergenic pillows, covers, and bedding, we installed a steam vaporizer, and rock salt lamp. I took an allergy tablet at night and made sure I had my asthma preventer each night before bed. I had some allergy medication from the doctor, settled down and WOW! I didn’t snore!

I went from a score of 199 and lots of epic snoring to 0 in just two days! I can’t believe it. If this continues we are going to buy a double electric bed so I can return to main bedroom. The steamer and hypoallergenic bedding will move in too.

I can’t believe I have suffered this long without attributing my snoring to my allergies. Thank you for a great app and advice.

P.S. I woke up today feeling refreshed for the first time in years.

Allergies can easily bring on snoring by causing inflammation in your airways and blocking your nose. If you think allergies are making you snore, have a look at our guides to preventing snoring caused by dust allergies and hay fever.

All of our stories are genuine accounts from SnoreLab users. If you’d care to share your experience about using SnoreLab, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us on or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

In the interest of privacy for our users, names and pictures may be changed. We use the wording quoted to us by our users but may make small stylistic changes.

A Guide to Hay Fever and Snoring

Causes, Solutions

A Guide to Hay Fever and Snoring

Given that up to 30% of us suffer from hay fever [1], it is possible that this seasonal pollen allergy could be playing a major role in your snoring.

If it’s warm outside and your nose is blocked, follow our guide to see if hay fever is making your snoring worse, and try our ten tips to breathe quietly again.


10 tips to manage hay fever-induced snoring


What is hay fever?

Hay fever is simply an allergic reaction to pollen in the air. This is an immune response (albeit an unnecessary one), which is a tactic your body uses to fight infection.

Once pollen gets into your system, the cells that fight infection are called upon, flooding your upper airways and releasing a medley of molecules that cause inflammation.

How can hay fever make you snore?

An inflamed nose makes breathing harder and snoring worse.

With a hay fever burdened nose, you’ll often have to make the dreaded switch to mouth breathing which can aggravate snoring in many ways:

  • Your tongue falls farther back
  • The space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced
  • A lowered jaw compresses your throat
  • Your throat becomes dried because air is not being humidified by the nose
  • Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your throat.

Even if you can still breathe through your nose, forcing air through this inflamed, restricted space creates suction forces that can still narrow your airway and bring on snoring [2].

How do you know if you have hay fever?


Hay fever affects your nose, eyes and throat. You’re likely to be constantly reaching for the tissues as your nose streams, or feel the hundredth sneeze of the day coming on. All this congestion makes it difficult to breathe properly through your nose.

Red, itchy and painful eyes coupled with an irritated throat top off a list of symptoms that are bound to ruin a perfectly good summer’s day.

How do I know it’s not just a cold?

The symptoms of hay fever appear similar to those of a common cold, but their patterns differ. Hay fever is longer lasting, whilst most colds disappear within a week or two. Hay fever symptoms should also start to alleviate once you are inside with the doors and windows shut.

Assessing your symptoms alongside a local pollen forecast over several days is a great way of distinguishing hay fever from a cold.


Pollen and hay fever is most widespread during the summer months. This is when most plants are particularly active and reproducing.

Generally, in the Northern Hemisphere, hay fever season runs from March to September, but winter hay fever is not impossible. Alder and hazel trees are early risers, flowering as early as January if the winter is particularly mild [3].

Weather patterns

The weather is a good predictor of pollen severity. With hay fever, you will notice worsened symptoms on those dry, warm and breezy days. Damp days with little wind are less troublesome as pollen is harmlessly swept to the floor.

Different pollen types and location

There are over a dozen types of plant that produce allergenic pollen, and not everyone is allergic to the same type.

Grass pollen allergy is by far the most prevalent, affecting 95% of hay fever sufferers. Specific trees and weeds also have the potential to cause hay fever. Interestingly, ragweed pollen, implicated in 50% of hay fever cases, has shown to be in greater concentrations at night [3].

Being familiar with your local flora can help you narrow down the triggers of your hay fever symptoms [4].

Many countries have their own regional pollen forecasts. These give information on the intensity of different types of pollen, based on location, time of year and the weather.

Ten tips to manage hay fever induced snoring

If you think that your snoring related to a pollen allergy, try these ten tips to rid you nose, body and surroundings of pollen for a better night’s sleep …

1. Use a neti pot

Neti pots create space in your nose by tackling obstructive mucus. Hay fever causes the inside of your nose to become swollen. Here, mucus can’t be moved along and instead builds up. Neti pots use tepid salt water with the assistance of gravity to flush out this excess, along with any attached allergens and inflammatory molecules.


Shop for SnoreLab’s recommended

neti pot starter kit

2. Use nasal dilators or sprays

Nasal dilators mechanically open your nasal passages. Internal dilators prop open your nostrils whereas external strips use a springboard action to pull open your nasal valves [5].

Nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation or constricting the blood vessels in your nose. Some types recommend regular use, whereas others should only be used occasionally – in all cases remember to read the instructions.

3. Invest in an air purifier

The microscopic nature of pollen means that it can’t easily be seen. An air purifier can be an effective way of filtering pollen and other potential allergens that hide in your home. There are many types, shapes and sizes – ideally try to find one that makes less noise than your snoring otherwise would!


4. Take antihistamines

Antihistamines are medicines that are effective in reducing the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies. They come in many different forms but all work in the same way: by dampening the main type of molecule involved in your allergic response to pollen, (you guessed it) histamine.

5. Shower before bed

Having a shower before going to bed will rid your hair and body of pollen that may have stuck to you throughout the day. It is also great for normal sleep hygiene as it lowers your body temperature, preparing you for sleep.

6. Quarantine pollen contaminated clothes

It is also a good idea to quarantine the clothes you step out of, not allowing them back in the bedroom with you. This way you won’t contaminate your bedroom with the very thing you’ve been trying to get rid of in the shower.

7. Clean pillowcases more often

A decongested nose, a clean body and washed hair are only useful if you aren’t then putting your head on a pillowcase covered in pollen. When pollen levels are particularly high, it is sensible to wash your bedding more frequently.

8. Dry laundry indoors

Hang laundry indoors, away from open windows. Whilst a stiff summer breeze outdoors will dry them in no time, it will also cover them in pollen.

9. Clean your bedroom

Pollen can also stick to surfaces such as carpets and other soft furnishings. Thorough vacuuming can help, especially if your vacuum cleaner has a built in HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, as this traps pollen that would otherwise be fired straight back out via the exhaust.

10. Close doors and windows

All this washing and cleaning could be in vain if your open doors and windows allow pollen back into your home. When the weather is nice it is tempting to throw open the windows and let in some air, but try to at least keep your bedroom an isolated haven of pollen-free good sleep.


Hopefully, you should now be able to spot the signs of hay fever, and with these tools, take control of your pollen allergy to achieve better and quieter sleep.

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