Can drinking lead to Sleep Apnea?

guys drinking beer

Drinking?  Causing health problems?  Whatever your opinion on it is there does seem to be quite a bit of sleep related problems that are caused by alcohol besides a hangover.  But is does beg the question, can drinking lead to Sleep Apnea?  I mean, look at how many other problems seem to be a risk for Sleep Apnea.  Well first off…

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea, to put it simply, is a blockage in your throat during sleep.  This blockage can lead to tiny wakes during your sleep that, although unnoticed, will lower the quality of your sleep.  There are multiple reasons for the blockage, so people just have an abnormal amount of tissue in there throat.  Others are borderline and their throat just relaxes in their sleep from the position they sleep in.  For both their are ways to help solve it.  Then back to the question at hand, how does alcohol affect it?

What Alcohol does to your throat

Just like how your body relaxes during sleep, your body will also relax even more so while under the influence of alcohol.  This means that while your throat would regularly have a clear airway during sleep, it might not if you fall asleep while drunk.  The solution to this is just not to drink before bed.  If for some reason alcohol is the only thing that can put you to sleep then your quality of sleep will go down.
I understand some people can only go to sleep with it when under extreme distress.  That’s why there are alternatives such as Ambien or other medicines that can help people feel more tired.  If you’re chronically unable to sleep because of such anxieties then you may want to consider seeing a therapist or doctor to try and resolve it.