Man snoring next to wife

Originally written January 10, 2022

Birthday parties, celebrations, and catching up with old friends are just some of the occasions where many people partake in alcoholic beverages. Consistent alcohol use can have a noticeable effect on your sleeping habits, but you might be surprised to learn about another aspect that can be impacted: your snoring.

In This Article...

  1. How does snoring work?
  2. How does alcohol affect the nose and throat?
  3. Could alcohol consumption lead to snoring?
  4. How can I reduce snoring brought on by alcohol consumption?

How does snoring work?

Snoring is more than just a loud noise that can wake up your family at night. It occurs when air does not move freely through the nose and throat, usually due to an obstruction. While snoring every so often is not an indication of something serious, it can be a symptom of conditions like sleep apnea if it continues often.

How does alcohol affect the nose and throat?

For some, alcohol can cause a feeling very similar to allergy season: a stuffy nose. When you consume alcohol, the membranes and blood vessels around your nose can swell. This can block the nasal passages and reduce airflow. While this is going on, alcohol can also dry your throat and lead to dehydration, causing more phlegm production and leading to even more nasal obstruction.

Dr. Adam Gigliotti, a CEENTA otolaryngologist who practices out of our Uptown office, goes into further detail. "Nasal congestion often leads to mouth-breathing at night, which in many cases allows the tongue to sit closer to the back of your throat, worsening your snoring."

Could alcohol consumption lead to snoring?

As previously mentioned, snoring is caused by limited airflow to the nose and throat. Therefore, it stands to reason that a stuffy nose and extra phlegm caused by alcohol could induce snoring, if not make existing snoring worse. Alcohol can also cause your throat muscles to relax, making your snoring louder than usual.

How can I reduce snoring brought on by alcohol consumption?

That isn’t to say that anyone who consumes alcohol is doomed to keep their spouse or family awake at night. You can mitigate this symptom by limiting your alcohol consumption with fewer beverages or those with a lower ABV. Stay hydrated with water in between drinks, and be sure not to have your beverages before bedtime. Snoring mouth guards are also useful, as they can promote greater airflow for your throat.

Whether you partake in alcoholic beverages or not, proper nose and throat care is always important. If you suspect that you have a sore throat or nasal obstruction, get the care you need with CEENTA. Our otolaryngologists across nearly twenty offices are trained to diagnose and treat many conditions affecting the ears, nose, and throat. Schedule with Dr. Gigliotti at our Uptown location today to make your evenings more peaceful. 

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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