March 20, 2017 2 min read
Food and wine go hand in hand. The right wine can coax the flavors out of food. In social gatherings, the consumption of alcoholic drinks is par for the course and allows people to relax. The trick here is to know your limits and drink sensibly.
However, if you are a snorer, you might consider becoming a teetotaler. Why?
In order to better understand the correlation between alcohol consumption and snoring, here are a few important things that you should know.
While awake, you draw in more air to cope with a higher oxygen demand by breathing deeply. You'll notice that after climbing a flight of stairs or after an intense aerobic workout. Now, each person has an inspiratory resistance. Inspiratory resistance refers to the mechanical resistance the muscles you use for breathing have to work against. You see, your air passages aren't huge and there will inevitably be friction between these and other surrounding muscles.
As you sleep, both the demand for oxygen and the inspiratory resistance decreases substantially. Should you need more air, you simply have to draw longer breaths.
In the case of snorers who may be thinking of sleep apnea treatment, their inspiratory resistance while asleep is vastly different. Snorers have around four times more inspiratory resistance.
Now how does alcohol figure in all of these?
When you have a drink or two during dinner, your inspiratory resistance doubles. This means that if you are a snorer and your inspiratory resistance is four times more than average, your inspiratory resistance after drinking alcohol becomes eight times greater. This means that a person who snores occasionally will more than likely snore that night. And if you snore regularly, expect your problem to be compounded further.
This increased resistance translates to constricted air passageways. In turn, the air that flows through these passageways needs to travel faster in order to meet the demand for oxygen. This, in turn, causes vibration and flapping in your throat and surrounding areas, resulting in the all-too-familiar sound that is snoring.
Now, you have two options. First, you can avoid drinking alcohol and prevent worsening your condition, and second, drink earlier. If you consume alcohol early and drink moderately, you'll give your body ample time to clear as much alcohol from your system as possible. Also, avoid staying up too late thinking that you can eliminate as much alcohol from your body. You'll only end up feeling more tired, which can also lead to snoring.
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