How are Alcohol Consumption and Snoring related?

Drinking alcohol can double or quadruple the respiratory resistance of breathing, therefore a snorer with a drink may deal with eight times the respiratory resistance or more. The more relaxed the muscles and tissues are, the more they can block your airway which causes vibrations that leads to snoring. Drinking alcohol aggravates obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring but what if you want a night cap to help you off to sleep?

Do you need relaxation?

Alcohol and sedatives reduce the tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you’ll snore. “Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse – “People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.”

Having a glass of wine at dinner sounds good, small quantities may be useful for your health but alcohol does play around with your sleep. It fragments sleep as well as affecting the airway tone. Add to that its respiratory depressant properties and you have the perfect storm.

Does alcohol cause snoring?

Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows down brain activity and leads to falling asleep faster. Habitually drinking alcohol causes snoring and OSA too. When alcohol is up taken, the brain and muscles, including those of the throat, relax. This causes a blockage of the airway, making it harder for the air to reach our lungs.

To satisfy the body’s need for oxygen, you forcefully inhale air, causing vibration and snoring sounds. As a result, drinking alcohol and snoring sleep apnea are very closely related.

book and glasses - indicates an academic link

Why does alcohol make you snore more?

The connection between alcohol and snoring is not only about relaxing muscles. Numerous other processes are happening in our body when we go to sleep after drinking, which causes snoring and low-quality sleep. These include:

REM sleep is delayed. It’s proven that alcohol blocks the REM sleep stage, so a person doesn’t have time for memory consolidation and rest.

Circadian rhythm is interrupted. Alcohol in your blood triggers sleepiness very fast, but it subsides as quickly as it came, so you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

Dry throat. Loud snoring after drinking alcohol is often caused by dryness in your mouth and throat muscles. Alcohol dehydrates you, and this is why alcohol makes you snore louder.

Can I stop snoring if I drink alcohol?

The best advice should be stop drinking or at least to not drink for a few hours before you go to bed. These tips may help to reduce snoring after drinking alcohol.

Does sleeping on your side help reduce snoring?

Use pillows to help keep your neck extended and above the level of your heart – helps relieve fluid from around your throat. There are various aid that are listed under positional therapy.

Use a dental snoring mouth guard.

Avoid the use of a night-guard (a single piece dental appliance to protect the teeth against grinding. Despite protecting your teeth, these can aggravate OSA even without drinking, while a snoring appliance can achieve both protection of your teeth AND decrease snoring. Elimination of snoring is difficult with the consumption of alcohol..

Ways to relax before sleep?

Keep in mind; alcohol is not the one way to relax before sleep. Try other wind-down methods meditation, a warm bath or book reading are alternatives too. These don’t lead to snoring and overall health problems. So, drinking heavily can increase the chances of OSA and disturbed sleep.

Also, don’t forget you cam also get snore tracker apps that can monitor how frequent and loud your snore is. (If you have a bed partner you may not need this!) Apps gather all the data about your sleep and snoring and generates a report with recommendations.

Many people do use a night cap before bed but although everyone is different, alcohol does tend to disrupt normal sleep patterns. It can be tough to break habits, but remember once broken, it is much easier to institute new ones. A little trick to break bad before bed habits is to allow yourself the luxury of it tomorrow (and tomorrow never comes!)

You should share the information with your doctor because although the connection is often not made snoring is also associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. However, the less you drink, the better your sleep will be and the less likely you are to snore. 

Alcohol, snoring and sex.

CLICK HERE – is there a proven way to improve your sex life? – Yes, “Cut back on your alcohol intake.” Antioxidant supplements may help in a healthy balance plan.

Erectile dysfunction

is there a proven way to improve your sex life? Yes, “Cut back on your alcohol intake.” Research has shown that drinking through a “night on the town” often results in later erectile dysfunction. In a recent study of over 1,500 Chinese men, those who drank three or more drinks a week were more likely to have some form of sexual dysfunction. If is clear that as you increase the amount of alcohol consumed, sexual performance diminishes,” Men are more compromised in this respect, especially as they get older, so alcohol can be a major deterrent to achieving an erection. So if you snore and are unable to consistently get an erection, maybe an alternate to alcohol makes sense.

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