Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
‘Tis The Season To Watch Your Alcohol and Your Sleep Apnea
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Sleep apnea can be tough to manage on its own, but you may find that things are a lot worse if you drink. You’re probably going to be fine with a couple of drinks. If you routinely have too much to drink, you may have problems. This is my story about how drinking too much alcohol affected my sleep and apnea.

My Alcohol Consumption

During COVID-19, I drank more than I should have due to stress. I’ve routinely gone out on a Friday night and had some beers. The past couple of years I’ve had far too much than what would be considered normal. On top of my drinking, I also have sleep apnea, so this isn’t a good combination.

I never thought that this was a big deal, but turns out it is. Drinking too much alcohol can impact your sleep in a big way even if you don’t have sleep apnea. You never get a solid night’s rest after drinking too much alcohol. If you have sleep apnea, this can be a recipe for disaster.

Hangovers and Sleep Apnea

My hangovers from too many drinks weren’t pleasant. They were far worse than anything I’ve experienced when I didn’t have sleep apnea. On top of this, I often didn’t even put my mask on at night, which meant I got a poor night’s sleep.

I found myself waking up with not only a hangover, but a sore throat and feeling lousy for the rest of the day due to not wearing my mask. If I drink too much, I normally don’t even consider putting the mask on for whatever reason.

Long-Lasting Effects

In addition to a hangover the day after, I also had lingering effects that lasted for several days. After drinking, I never quite felt like myself until several days later. Drinking in excess doesn’t work very well when you have sleep apnea.

Steps I’ve Taken

I now limit myself to only a few drinks on the weekend. I make sure to eat when drinking and watch how much I drink. It’s not worth it to have a hangover the next day as the poor sleep affects how I feel.

I’ve noticed that I sleep a lot better when I limit how many drinks I have. A few drinks don’t seem to be a problem for my sleeping pattern on nights I’m drinking.  I can still go out and enjoy myself, I just limit the amount of alcohol I drink. Some nights, I avoid it altogether. I can no longer afford to have a party mindset as I need to take care of my sleep apnea.

Since I cut back on how much alcohol I drink, my sleep has gotten a lot better. I don’t forget to put my mask on and overall, I feel much better. I know that drinking a bit more than I should isn’t helping my sleep apnea, so I’ve cut way back. Reducing your own alcohol drinking can make a big difference in how you manage your own sleep apnea.




Photo Credit: Wilpunt / E+ via Getty Images

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Brian Lamacraft

Brian Lamacraft

Diagnosed since 2017

Brian Lamacraft has lived with sleep apnea for over 4 years. He is a full-time writer and guitar player. He spends his spare time writing music, going to the Royal Canadian Legion, and having fun camping trips with close friends. He lives in Powell River, Canada, with his lovely wife. Reach him at his website Lamacraft Writing Services or LinkedIn.

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