Alcohol and Sleep Apnea
On occasion, you might think that a nightcap might be a good way to start dreaming fast but not if you have a sleep disorder. And especially if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a condition characterized by partial or full obstruction of an individual’s airway, you need to avoid alcohol all together. Imbibing even one glass of an alcoholic beverage will decrease the tone of the muscles of your upper airway, which will mean that your breathing as someone with OSA will be even more affected. In addition, alcohol will exacerbate snoring.
Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison proved the aforementioned issues and risks for OSA sufferers who have a drink before bed. Actually, the group discovered that even having one alcoholic beverage during the day can impact the breathing in people with OSA at night by 25 percent. They also demonstrated that men were more adversely affected than women. In fact with alcohol consumption, the consequences of OSA become more pronounced.
If You Do Decide to Have a Drink
If you decide to not be a total teetotaler and have an alcoholic drink or a glass of wine on occasion, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep quantity down to a minimum, i.e. at most one or two drinks a day.
- Practice the following rule: For every alcoholic beverage you have, also drink the same amount of water. Staying hydrated is key, even if you don’t have OSA.
- Stop consumption 3 hours before bedtime.
- Try to go to sleep as close to your normal time as possible. Don’t stay out to the wee hours of the morning.
If you have been wondering whether or not your alcohol consumption might be affecting or an indication of sleep apnea, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation when it’s convenient for you.