Why Do I Snore When I Drink?

Do you notice yourself snoring more than usual when you drink alcohol?

Maybe you’ve had the unpleasant surprise of being shaken from a deep slumber by your own snore. Or maybe your partner complains that they can’t sleep peacefully next to you anymore because of your loud snoozing.

If you’ve been having these problems, you might be wondering, “Why do I snore when I drink? And how can I stop it?”

Below, learn about the connection between alcohol and snoring, and some ways to get a better night’s rest after you drink.

Is There a Link Between Alcohol and Snoring?

arm holding a wine bottle from under the bed covers
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Many people are under the impression that alcohol helps them sleep—and it’s true that it can help you drift off at first. But over the course of the night, drinking can actually negatively impact the quality of your sleep, including making your snoring worse.

The data backs this up. In a 2020 meta-analysis, researchers found that alcohol worsened snoring among those who already tended to snore1.

Fortunately, in this study, alcohol didn’t appear to cause non-snorers to start snoring. But considering up to 45 percent of people already snore at least some of the time2, drinking near bedtime could make restless nights worse for quite a lot of people.

Why Does Alcohol Make You Snore?

If you like to have a few brews to unwind at night, you may have asked yourself, “Why does beer make you snore?”

To put it simply, alcohol relaxes your throat muscles3. And although this might sound like it would allow more air into your body, it’s actually the opposite.

When your throat muscles are relaxed, they can end up partially blocking your airway while you’re lying down. Your body will then breathe with more force to compensate for the blockage.

This heavier breathing causes vibrations in your throat, resulting in bothersome snores that can disrupt your sleep, or have your partner tossing and turning all night.

How To Stop Snoring When Drunk

head on pillow sleeping soundly
Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Alcohol itself worsens snoring—so there isn’t exactly a way to reduce alcohol-related snoring without also changing your drinking habits.

That being said, here are a few options that may help you sleep more restfully:

  • Cut out the alcohol completely. This is the simplest way to reduce alcohol-induced snoring, albeit not always the most realistic.
  • Stop drinking earlier in the day. Instead of drinking up until the hour of your bedtime, try to give your body ample time to process the booze before you hit the hay.
  • Practice good sleep posture. Sleeping on your side or stomach may reduce snoring by helping your airways stay open4.
  • Talk with your doctor about other reasons you may be snoring. While alcohol can certainly worsen snoring, it’s never a bad idea to find out if other factors are contributing, such as congestion, medications, or other conditions5.

Cutting Back on Alcohol Can Improve Your Sleep

By limiting your alcohol intake, you can stop snoring when drunk and have better sleep overall. Less snoring means not disturbing your partner’s sleep, not waking yourself up, and feeling better-rested each morning.

If you’re finding it difficult to cut back on how much you drink in the evening, Ria Health may be able to help. We offer customized plans to help you cut back or quit, 100 percent online. You don’t need to identify as an alcoholic to join, and our app makes the whole process private and confidential.

Learn more about how it works

Continue Reading: Alcohol and Sleep

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Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Minnesota-based freelancer and health advocate who aims to empower others through her work.
Reviewed By:
Content Writer/Editor
Writer specializing in targeted, informative content. Dedicated to making the abstract accessible.

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