When a person goes to sleep most of the muscles in the body become relaxed and soften. This helps you have a comfortable, relaxed sleep. The muscles of the soft palate (roof of the mouth) and tongue remain firm and toned enough to allow clear passage of air through the throat and in and out of the lungs. In this situation you are able to get quality sleep without any breathing problems and then wake in the morning feeling refreshed and able to perform during the day.
Snoring is a noise made by vibration of the soft palate and other soft tissue due to narrowing in the throat while breathing when asleep. This happens because the muscles controlling the soft palate and tongue relax too much and narrow the airway to the lungs. The breathing muscles then have to work much harder than normal to get air into the lungs.
Snoring is not generally considered a health risk but because sleep during snoring is not as relaxed and comfortable, you may feel less refreshed in the morning and more tired during the day. Snoring can also be socially disruptive and damaging to relationships.