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Relationship Between Alcohol and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

No matter how other people see alcohol consumption beneficial to their health or in improving their sleeping pattern, in the long run, regular alcohol consumption or even alcohol misuse can lead to the development of various sleep disorders from sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbances can cause excessive daytime drowsiness, which can cause memory deficits, impaired socialization, and even affect one’s occupational functions. Aside from the development of various sleep disorders, alcohol consumption can also increase a person’s risk of developing various depressive disorders, impaired breathing, and even heart problems that can lead to heart attacks.

Alcohol and Sleep Disorders

Relationship Between Alcohol and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.jpg

Relationship Between Alcohol and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Total sleep time of a person is altered when consuming alcohol during nighttime. Alcohol contains properties that can disrupt a person’s sequence of sleep and duration of sleep, which can possibly result in inducing sleep disorders. Alcohol consumption does not only stop in the development of various sleep disorders, alcohol consumption combined with disturbed sleep can also cause various potential health consequences for both alcoholics and non-alcoholics. And for people who have just recovered from alcoholism or people who suffered from alcoholism in the past are at a very high risk for experiencing alcoholism relapse due to the failure of recovering from normal sleeping patterns.

Alcohol and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the 3 different types of sleep apnea. The obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is quite common that 3% to 4% of Americans are suffering from it. In obstructive sleep apnea, there will be narrowing or even closing of the upper air passages, such as the pharynx that is located at the back portion of the mouth. Usually, a person wakens up as a result to interrupted breathing for him or her to grasp for air and returns back to sleep. Usually, there will be at least hundreds of episodes of obstructive sleep apnea each given night.

People who are suffering from alcoholism appear to have increased risk for sleep apnea, especially when they are chronic snorers. And for those people who are not suffering from alcoholism and/or chronic snoring, they are still at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, since consumption of alcohol can cause narrowing or even closing of the upper air passages, which can cause episodes of obstructive sleep apnea during sleep. Aside from causing episodes of obstructive sleep apnea, alcohol contains depressant properties that can prolong the time of each apnea episode and it can even worsen a preexisting obstructive sleep apnea.

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