The Biology Behind the Connection
When people have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the tissue in their airway becomes blocked, and that’s what causes the choking, gasping for air episodes several times a night. When you bring alcohol into the picture, the tissue in the airway becomes even more relaxed, collapsing and creating more of a blockage.
The sound of snoring is the tissue vibrating in the blocked airway. Alcohol causes the tissue to be even more relaxed, which increases snoring. It’s a vicious cycle that goes on and on for hours, and the result is a person with a terrible night’s sleep who wakes feeling tired.
A person with OSA will have difficulty focusing the next day and may even feel like they got no sleep at all. Imagine what a toll that takes on the body over time. We all have experienced a bad night of sleep from time to time. It makes for a very long and miserable next day. Just think how awful you’d feel with poor quality sleep night after night for months, years, or even decades.