If you’re like most, you probably have a nightly routine that gets you ready for bed. Some people have a drink or two, a nightcap, to help them fall asleep easier. Afterall, alcohol helps you relax. Unfortunately, alcohol and sleep apnea don’t mix too well. In fact, alcohol can exacerbate your sleep apnea, keeping you from the rest you deserve. Read on to learn more about alcohol’s effects on sleep apnea and what you can do to get a better night’s rest.
The Surprising Way Alcohol Affects Sleep Apnea Patients
Studies have shown that alcohol actually does not help sleep. In fact, it keeps patients in a lighter sleep stage, making it easier for them to wake up throughout the night. However, it’s even more harmful for sleep apnea patients. Because alcohol relaxes the muscles, it can ease your throat muscles even more than normal, intensifying your sleep apnea symptoms in the process. For example, it can cause even louder snoring, and make your more likely to wake up gasping for breath throughout the night.
Another Reason to Avoid Your Nightcap
While research shows that up to 15% of the US population uses alcohol to help themselves get to bed, it’s proven ineffective. After using alcohol for sleep for just 1 to 3 days, your body will build a tolerance to it. This can lead to a dangerous cycle of drinking more and more, which is even worse for your body than the original problem.
Tips for Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is essential for achieving your goals for the next day. That’s why you should do all you can to give yourself the best chance at a full night’s rest. Start by making sure that you finish your alcohol at least 3 hours before bedtime to give your body a chance to recover. Additionally, avoid drinking alcohol excessively—limit your consumption to just 1 or 2 drinks per day. It’s also a good idea to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you have. This will prevent dehydration and help you feel better the next day.
Plus, you can take certain steps during the day to help your sleep. Exercise relieves stress, and it also works your muscles, which makes it easier to sleep. You should also avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2pm.
We all enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, but we all need enough sleep to function. So, keep these tips in mind so you can rest easy and get back to counting sheep without intensifying your condition.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Karamardian believes in treating the entire body and not just the mouth, which is why she’s taken continuing education courses to offer services like oral appliances for sleep apnea and vivos sleep apnea treatment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Los Gatos Dental Group through the website or by phone at (408) 402-0900.