How Reducing My Alcohol Consumption Impacted My Sleep Apnea

Last updated: November 2023

Last year, I went out with some friends, and we rented some cabins for a late fall camping trip. Cabin rental is ideal as they often have power hookups, and I can use my sleep apnea mask and machine without any hassles.

I normally don’t stay the night when we camp without power as I need to use my mask, so this trip was welcome. Unfortunately, for me, I ended up drinking too much that night and went to sleep without even putting my CPAP mask on. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling my best the next day.

Alcohol and Sleep Apnea Don’t Mix

While a drink now and again is fine, you won’t get the rest you need each night if you’re having several or in my case, having way more than several in one sitting. I need my rest and I didn’t get it that night because I consumed too much alcohol and didn’t use my mask.

Since alcohol interrupts your sleep it’s not a good idea to consume too much of it when you’re suffering from sleep apnea. In the past, I would often wake up feeling lousy and not just because of the hangover. I wasn’t getting the sleep I needed to feel my best the next day.

Reducing My Alcohol Consumption

I have drastically cut back my consumption of alcohol and now I only drink light beer. It allows me to enjoy myself when I go and listen to live music on a Saturday night, but I don’t have a hangover and I get the quality sleep that I need the next day. Since I now limit my consumption on most nights I get quality sleep and feel great the next day.

Depression, Alcohol, and Sleep Apnea

It’s understandable that you may feel a little depressed once you get a sleep apnea diagnosis. I didn’t feel all that great and I probably drank more than I should on too many occasions. I didn’t want to have to deal with my sleep apnea and used alcohol as a crutch.

At the same time, I was sabotaging my efforts because alcohol interrupts your sleep even for those without apnea. If you have the condition already and then mix in too much alcohol, you’re going to have terrible sleep. It’s better to try and limit your consumption as much as possible.

How I Deal with Emotions Now

Since I’m a writer I now write about my experience with sleep apnea. It helps me deal with my emotions and now I no longer use alcohol as a way to cope. I cope by putting my thoughts down and being involved in the sleep apnea community.

Cut Back on Alcohol, for Better Sleep

I encourage you to cut back on your own drinking if you have apnea. It’s not doing you any favors and by limiting your consumption, you’re going to get that quality sleep you need, and you won’t feel lousy the next day. Make sure you talk to a professional if you feel you can’t control your alcohol consumption on your own.

With a low level of alcohol consumption, I now sleep a lot better and I’m making the most of my sleep apnea therapy. Enjoy yourself but watch how much you drink as it can interrupt your sleep and your CPAP or other therapy for sleep apnea.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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