How Alcohol Affects Sleep Apnea and Nighttime Breathing


Moderate drinking, as opposed to heavy drinking, can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep. Studies have shown that the more you drink, the worse you make your sleep apnea symptoms. Even one drink per day can have an impact on how you sleep.The scientific evidence shows that limiting the number of drinks you consume before bedtime can make for a better, more restful sleep. Drinking to excess will typically have a more negative impact on sleep than light or moderate alcohol consumption. However, since the effects of alcohol are different from person to person, even small amounts of alcohol can reduce sleep quality for some people.

alcohol sleep apnea

The clinical implications of alcohol’s inhibitory effects on growth hormone and the dissociation of growth hormone and SWS are unclear, particularly with chronic and excessive alcohol use. Unfortunately, these provocative findings have not been pursued further. Alcohol also suppresses the production of hormones in the body that help regulate sleep, including melatonin. Melatonin is often referred to as the sleep hormone, as it increases when it gets dark outside, signaling that it is time for sleep. It plays an essential role as a regulator of our circadian rhythm, also known as our biological clock.

Later in the night, as alcohol levels drop, your brain kicks into overdrive. You may toss and turn as your body undergoes a rebound arousal. “As the levels decline, you’re going to get more issues with the fragmentation,” said Dr. R. Nisha Aurora, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Can Alcohol Help Me Sleep?

Although no difference in use of tobacco was found, it would be interesting to investigate on the role of Shisha smoking in this co-morbidity. For UK residents, the consumption of alcohol is more worrying, as many do not factor into their diet, but contributes 7 Kcal/g. Alcohol has extensive effects on sleep and daytime sleepiness.

alcohol sleep apnea

David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it’s like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient’s perspective to the blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment. It goes without saying that if you’re concerned about how you sleep, you’ll want to watch how many drinks you have if you plan on drinking. Higher pressure for effective, continuous treatment throughout the night. Moderate drinking is loosely defined as up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Heavy drinking means more than 15 drinks per week for men and more than eight drinks per week for women.

Why Intermittent Fasting Can Lead to Better Sleep

It also raises risks of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease . Also, try to avoid drinking at least two or three hours before bed . This can help give your body time to metabolize the alcohol before bedtime to help reduce the risk of alcohol affecting your sleep. Keep in mind that even a small amount of alcohol can make OSA worse, so try to time alcohol consumption so that you’re sober when you go to sleep.

alcohol sleep apnea

What happens to your body after you take your first sip of alcohol? Learn the effects of drinking on your body and mental well-being. Alcohol as an independent risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. Your REM stage is where you not only dream but achieve the most restorative sleep to help your brain function properly the next day. In particular, this includes boosting mental concentration as well as managing your mood. Fortunately, when it comes to alcohol recommendations, there’s a pretty small range.

Should You Avoid Alcohol?

We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research. Although Sleep Foundation maintains affiliate partnerships with brands and e-commerce portals, these relationships never have any bearing on our product reviews or recommendations. Some guides and articles feature links to other relevant Sleep Foundation pages. These internal links are intended to improve ease of navigation across the site, and are never used as original sources for scientific data or information. Our team of writers, editors, and medical experts rigorously evaluates each article to ensure the information is accurate and exclusively cites reputable sources. A large number of children live in households with a parent who has a substance, alcohol, or illicit drug use disorder.

Is a serious sleep disorder that can lead you to an early grave. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, it’s important to work with our providers to help improve your health and manage your condition. One thing that many people ask is whether they can drink alcohol if they’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea . This is a question only you and your doctor can answer, but it’s important to know how alcohol can affect you if you have SA. Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are some of the conditions that may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal disorders, prior stroke and chronic lung diseases such as asthma also can increase risk.

  • A table of all the questions asked and the scoring assigned to answers can be found in Supplementary File .
  • Sustained nightly drinking can establish worrying patterns that can persist even after people have stopped drinking, she and other experts say.
  • This suggest that exercise might play a heavier role in the co-morbidity found in Qatar than in UK and might therefore be the preferred lifestyle factor to target in Qatar for managing the co-morbidity, but not in UK.
  • 2020 research suggests that alcohol impacts the part of sleep known as rapid eye movement .
  • One of the pituitary hormones linked to sleep is growth hormone, whose secretion typically peaks with the onset of SWS (Takahashi et al. 1969).

A lot of people who think they have insomnia, she said, may just be drinking too much or too close to bedtime. We studied the effect of alcohol ingestion on sleep-induced breathing abnormalities and arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation in seven patients with a range of sleep-induced upper airway occlusion. The characteristics of each patient’s sleep-induced breathing eco sober house cost abnormality was established on one or more control all-night studies, and then a further all-night study was done immediately following alcohol ingestion. Alcohol increased the duration and frequency of the occlusive episodes in five patients with obstructive sleep apnoea, and resulted in a marked increase in the degree of hypoxaemia in the first hour of sleep.

This disorder, which includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and an increased waist circumference, is linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking can increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. March 17, 2023 – Young adults with a higher body mass index reported increased hunger and food intake along with impaired blood pressure and heart rate regulation after a night of reduced sleep. If you’re having sleep problems or symptoms of sleep apnea, talk to your provider.

Research shows that between 33% and 40% of people who consume alcohol experience mild to severe anxiety. Anxiety symptoms can cause or worsen insomnia for some individuals. People with sleep apnea should consider avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption.

Several studies have assessed the effects of alcohol administration over several nights. Such studies clearly demonstrated that tolerance to alcohol’s sedative and sleep-stage effects develops within 3 nights and that the percentages of SWS and REM sleep return to basal levels after that time. Furthermore, in some studies, the discontinuation of nightly alcohol administration resulted in a REM sleep rebound–that is, an increase in sober house boston REM sleep beyond basal levels . Another population that typically shows lower levels of SWS compared with healthy young adults are the elderly, but no studies have assessed alcohol’s effects on the sleep of healthy elderly people. In sleep deprivation studies, however, elderly participants show increases in SWS on the recovery night after the sleep-deprivation period; possibly alcohol could similarly promote SWS in elderly people.

The Dangers of Mixing Ambien & Alcohol

Snoring can also be brought on by consuming too much alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol relaxes throat muscles and decreases your natural defenses against airway obstruction. It’s also important to note that the amount of alcohol that’s consumed, as well as how close to bedtime you drink it, will also influence whether or not you’ll snore or experience OSA events. Again, alcohol doesn’t solely contribute to snoring or sleep apnea, but it can make the symptoms more pronounced since the beverage has such a direct relaxing effect on your body’s muscles. However, when alcohol enters the picture, even regular breathing can become difficult. Along with the epiglottis, your throat muscles may become more restricted thanks to the relaxation effects of drinking.

Try to stop drinking at least two hours before you go to bed. This will give the alcohol time to metabolize through your system and make it easier to fall asleep. The relationship between alcohol, sleep apnea, and sleeplessness is as complicated as any other three-sided dynamic. While alcohol may make you feel drowsy and relaxed in the short-term, it actually keeps you awake and makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. It also disrupts your body’s melatonin levels and makes sleep less restful than it normally would. If you are living with OSA, you have either felt by now or have heard that alcohol and sleep apnea do not mix well.

Many people turn to alcohol to facilitate the sleep process, which is counterproductive, as alcohol causes an individual to have faster sleep onset but a poorer quality of sleep, with REM sleep being suppressed . This is due to the effects that alcohol has on many of the neurotransmitters, such as the GABAergic system, which is involved in sleep–wake regulation . Alcohol consumption can also disrupt sleep by disturbing the respiratory system .



受付時間平日 9:00〜17:00