Snoring, Alcohol and Medication
Snoring is a problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a condition that doesn’t attack just a single age range or sex, rather it is something the effects everyone from infants to elderly people. As you get older, the chances of your snoring getting more problematic for your family and house-guests is higher. That is because of several factors. Among the factors that will cause your snoring to become more involved and in some cases, dangerous, is the amount of alcohol you drink and certain medications you take.
Why does snoring affect everyone?
The reason why snoring is something that causes problems for people of all ages and sexes is because there are factors seen in everyone that are known to cause snoring. Any problems in your nasal passages or in your upper airways can lead to snoring. These can be genetic problems or problems that arise because of the way you sleep.
What causes snoring when sleeping on my back?
Those who sleep on their back are more likely to snore than those who sleep on their sides. The simple reason behind this is simple. When you sleep on your back and your mouth is open, your tongue will become relaxed. When your tongue becomes relaxed, because of the position you are lying, it will fall back in your throat and block the airway. The sound that you hear when this happens is the vibrations of air being pushed through the body into the smaller airway. The louder the snoring sounds means the more air being pushed through the smaller airway.
How does alcohol affect snoring?
The thing about alcohol that makes you snore more is the fact that it is a form of a depressant. While you may be able to fall asleep easier when you have been consuming alcohol, what the liquor has been doing is slowing down your central nervous system. By slowing the central nervous system, it is causing your brain to react slowly. In terms of snoring, the brain reacting slowly could cause sleep apnea.
Another thing that alcohol does is it relaxes the muscles in your throat and mouth. By introducing alcohol to your body, especially later in the night, your throat tissues are being weakened. Weakened throat tissues can lead to obstructions in your airway – especially for back sleepers – and this could lead to snoring.
How does medication affect snoring?
Here’s the thing. Not all medications are known to cause you to snore more. There are certain medications, especially those more commonly prescribed to adults for serious ailments that have certain ingredients that have the same effects on your mouth and throat muscles as alcohol.
The medications that you should avoid that have been known to cause snoring are those that are meant to make you drowsy. These can be anything from allergy pills to anxiety or depression medications. If you need to take these pills, make sure to take them during the day when your body will have enough time to counter the impact they already had on your body. Also try to avoid taking anti-histamines before bed. These are also known to cause snoring when taken close to bedtime.
Alcohol induced sleep apnea
Anybody at any time can develop sleep apnea during their life. While sleeping, your brain is telling your body to breathe. When your brain isn’t reacting as quickly as it should, your body may “forget” to breathe, which is known as apnea. By introducing alcohol to the equation, you are facing a higher likelihood of developing sleep apnea.
There are certain signs that will help you see that you have alcohol induced sleep apnea. Among the signs are:
- You awake in the middle of the night short on breathe, or by gasping
When you wake up with because of this situation, it is because your brain remembered to tell your body to breathe, but it was too much at once. This makes you wake up and gasp as though you weren’t getting any air, which is essentially what happened.
- Dreaming of suffocating
This is one of those subconscious ways your dreams are telling you something is wrong. It is like when a phone goes off in your house and while dreaming, someone’s cell phone rings. Except in this case, when you are dreaming of suffocating because you aren’t getting air, it could become dangerous.
- Having feelings that are considered worse than a hangover or being more sluggish and tired
Anyone that has ever had a hangover will attest to the fact that they are functioning a bit slower the next day. You feel tired and slow, especially in the morning hours. When you feel more tired than usual and feel like you just haven’t been able to find your rhythm that day, then you may have had alcohol induced sleep apnea.
If any of these problems begin, you may have to consider limiting the number of drinks you have each day. The longer you allow these alcohol induced problems to persist, the likelier that they may become serious issues.
How to help my snoring
One of the first things you should consider doing when you are suffering from severe snoring, sleep apnea, or alcohol induced sleep apnea is leaving the alcohol alone for a while. If your friends invite you out for a drink, as much as you may hate to say no, your body needs the break and you need to ensure that your sleep apnea is a temporary problem.
If you are going to drink, you should make sure you had your last adult beverage at least four hours before going to bed. This will allow your body enough time to recoup the negative effects of the stimulant.
When it comes to the medications that improve your chances of snoring, these sedatives should be avoided at nighttime. While sleeping pills are meant to help you sleep, they cause you to snore more often. If you need sleeping pills to sleep, you should consider purchasing anti-snore nose clips or even the stop snoring pillow.
If you aren’t sure what your snoring is related to, you can take the snoring quiz and learn how to help alleviate that problem.