Alcohol effects on Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea and alcohol is a dangerous cocktail mix. Alcohol consumption before going to bed can induce sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. A study by the researchers reveals that the alcohol consumption at night may cause obstructive sleep apnea, since alcohol tends to relax the muscles in your body which include the throat muscles that collapse, blocking the airway that leads to the lungs. When the airway is blocked, the brain usually sends a signal forcing you to wake up and clear the airway passage. Alcohol reduces the chances of your reflexes, diminishing the chances of your awakening from the sleep during the sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea

Does alcohol invite the Sandman?

Not really. In fact, alcohol decreases the amount of your REM sleep. It is a myth that a swallow of your favorite drink before going to bed will help you sleep well because the human body tends to develop tolerance to the alcohol after a few nights.

Lack of sleep forces you to increase the quantity of the alcohol consumption, but it results in frequent disruption of the rest. When your body metabolizes the alcohol, it causes excessive sweating, loud snoring, headaches and the regular visits to the bathroom apart from the sleep apnea.

So, Quit alcohol?

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the best advice is to abstain from alcohol. If you wish to enjoy a drink or two (not more than that), consider drinking several hours before you go to sleep. Limit the alcohol consumption if you have to drink.

Does alcohol affect men and women differently?

Sleep apnea is relatively common among the males than the females. However, women absorb alcohol more because they have fewer enzymes to break down the alcohol molecules. Women are likely to get the higher concentration of liquor despite drinking the same amount as men, which may cause disrupted sleep, snoring, nightmares and headaches.

Women are advised to have alcohol at least 4 hours before the sleep, and the quantity should be restricted to as minimum as possible.

If you have snoring or OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea), it is time to visit best ENT doctor in hyderabad at Dr. Rao’s ENT hospitals

About the author

Best ent doctor hyderabad | Dr.GVK Chaitanya Rao

Dr. Chaitanya Rao, Managing director at Dr. Rao’s ENT group of hospitals has 10 years experience in the field of ENT.

His special areas of interest include Nose & sinus surgeries, Otology, Snoring and sleep apnea surgeries. During his Post-graduation itself he was invited as a visiting physician to House Institute of Medical sciences, Los Angeles; Rhinology and Anterior skull base unit, Ohio State University Medical Centre, Columbus, Ohio and University of Michigan from where he picked up his skills.

He plays a key role (Course Director & co-ordinator) in giving hands on training to around 150 ENT surgeons every year from all around the world for initiating and improving their ENT surgical skills as a part of Hyderabad ENT Research Foundation initiatives.

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