It might seem like a good idea to have a glass of wine or a beer at dinnertime to help you unwind from the day. Although it can help you feel relaxed and a glass of red wine might even benefit your health, unfortunately, alcohol can have harmful consequences on your quality of sleep. With stay-at-home orders across the country, there has been an increase in alcohol sales – meaning more people are drinking more than before and likely feeling the health consequences of it. One common problem drinkers face is snoring in their sleep. If your partner has complained that you snore when you sleep you’re not alone.
What’s the Connection Between Alcohol and Snoring?
Alcohol is a depressant which means it slows down brain activity. This often helps people fall asleep faster. Unfortunately, the alcohol gets inside the brain, muscles and throughout the body causing everything to relax, including throat muscles. When the throat muscles relax when you sleep, it causes an obstruction in your airway which makes it harder to breathe when you sleep. Your body then forcefully inhales air causing vibration of the throat and thus snoring sounds.
Why Does Alcohol Make You Snore More?
There are a few different reasons why alcohol can make you snore even more than usual. It involves more than just relaxing your throat muscles. Drinking alcohol can also delay REM sleep. During the REM cycle, your leg and arm muscles become paralyzed and you dream. Alcohol blocks the REM stage which means you don’t have any sleep time dedicated to rest and memory consolidation.
Your circadian rhythm also gets interrupted which means you will likely wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep.
Lastly, drinking alcohol causes dry mouth and throat because it dehydrates you. A dry throat can make you snore even louder!
How Can I Stop Snoring?
First things first, stop drinking completely. After two weeks without drinking before bed, pay attention if you’re still snoring at night. If you’re still snoring, you need professional help. You may even have sleep apnea but you won’t know if this is true until you take a sleep test.
At the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha, our sleep dentists can help you find a snoring treatment like an oral appliance that works for you. But first, we will advise you to take a home sleep test to rule out sleep apnea. If you do happen to have sleep apnea, you’re also likely experiencing daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating in addition to loud snoring at night. Fortunately, we can help you treat both snoring and sleep apnea, regardless of which problem you have. Once you have a treatment that works for you, your health will improve and you will enjoy a snore-free night of sleep!
Learn more about our treatment plans when you schedule a new patient appointment today by calling (402) 493-4175.