Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sleep apnea and alcohol

I have never been a big drinker, even when I was in my twenties, I never drank that much. Right now I don’t drink for two reasons: it doesn’t mix well with my medications for meniere’s disease and alcohol is especially bad for those with sleep apnea.

Why is alcohol so bad for sleep apnea?

Like certain medications, alcohol relaxes muscles in the body. If those muscles happen to be in the back of your mouth and you have sleep apnea, you have trouble. The muscles relax and block the airway. Well the airway is blocked anyway so why not drink? Well, if you eliminated alcohol the airway might not be as blocked or not blocked at all. Stopping drinking it seems to me would be better than trying to get used to a cpap machine or a dental device.

Alcohol is also bad for sleeping for other reasons, such as messing with your normal sleep patterns. It is true that a few drinks before you go to bed make it easier to fall asleep. But it will inhibit your ability to fall back asleep if you wake in the middle of the night. And as with alcoholics, the more you drink the harder it is fall asleep because the alcohol isn’t as effective as a sedative as it is with a causal drinker.

So if you have sleep apnea it probably isn’t a good idea to drink at all, at least not before you go to bed.

Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed

No comments:

Post a Comment