Monday, June 14, 2010

Snorers Should Avoid Alcohol Before Bed

A new study in the July issue of the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology shows that alcohol can worsen snoring for already-loud sleepers.

Nighttime alcohol use is known to increase obstructive sleep apnea. It is assumed that snoring also increases under the influence of alcohol. These Germany-based researchers wanted to provide data to support this hypothesis.

This study examined the influence of nocturnal alcohol intake on the properties of snoring.

The study included 20 healthy men. Ten men were non-snorers while 10 were snorers. They each took a sleep test on three randomly assigned nights. Their blood alcohol level varied from 0.0, 0.5 and 0.8 per thousand depending on the night.

Snoring events were recorded using room and body microphones.

Loudness and incidence of snoring were calculated and correlated to the sleep time, body position and sleep stages. The results indicate that nocturnal alcohol ingestion affects individuals with a reported history of snoring to a greater extent than non-snorers. Non-snorers did not turn into snorers under increasing alcohol influence.

Higher BAC increased snorers’ apnea-hypopnea-index (AHI). Their incidence and loudness of snoring also increased with regard to the sleep time.

Snoring increased to a bigger extent in a supine position compared to non supine. It worsened during REM stage and Non REM 3/4 stage.

Non-snorers did not present any effect of alcohol on the snoring properties with regard to sleep time, body position and sleep stage.

The researchers suggest that snorers avoid alcohol intake prior to sleep.

Snoring can affect almost anyone. Habitual affects an estimated 24 percent of adult women and 40 percent of adult men. Both men and women are more likely to snore as they age.

Snoring itself does not endanger one’s health. But snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About 50 percent of people who snore loudly have sleep apnea. OSA is a serious medical condition that should be diagnosed at a sleep center.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.