It Makes Sleep Problems You Already Have Even Worse
Alcohol decreases muscle tone in the upper airway, meaning that breathing-related sleep issues are exacerbated after you've had a couple of drinks, Mehra says. That's especially bad news for people with obstructive sleep apnea, who stop breathing for short periods during sleep when their airway is blocked: Since alcohol makes the airways especially collapsible, people suffering from sleep apnea tend stop breathing more frequently and for longer periods after drinking. The reduced muscle tone from even a couple of drinks also aggravates less serious, but more familiar, problems. "It worsens snoring," says Mehra. "I can attest to that with my husband."