Diagnosing snoring 

You may want to see your GP if you snore regularly.

They'll ask you some questions about your snoring, such as:

  • How often do you snore?
  • Is your snoring loud enough to wake others?
  • Is your snoring worse when you're lying in any particular position, such as on your back?
  • Are there underlying factors that may be contributing to your snoring, such as alcohol, smoking or medication?
  • Do you feel properly refreshed after sleeping, or do you still feel sleepy the following day?
  • Have others noticed you make snorting or gasping noises between snores?

If you answer yes to the last two questions, it may be a sign that you have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) see below.

Your GP may weigh and measure you to assess your body mass index (BMI), and they may also measure the circumference of your neck. They may also examine your mouth and throat in case an abnormality, such as swollen tonsils or a non-cancerous growth, is contributing to your snoring.

Further tests are usually only required if your symptoms suggest you have OSA. This may involve referring you to a specialist sleep centre so you can be monitored while you sleep. Alternatively, you may be given a monitoring device to wear at night while you sleep at home. This is known as a home sleep study.

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is also often used to help identify people at risk of developing OSA. It's a questionnaire that has eight questions, each with a score from zero to three, depending on how likely it is for you to fall asleep in certain situations, such as while watching television or reading.

Read more about how sleep apnoea is diagnosed.

Page last reviewed: 24/10/2014

Next review due: 24/10/2017