A stressed, tired man parting a haze of nighttime sky. Beer and wine also break through the night, disrupting sleep.

My Story With Sleep Apnea and Alcohol Abuse

Last updated: February 2023

I will admit, it’s difficult even on the best of days to live with sleep apnea. Some days, I feel really tired, even though I’ve used my mask the night before. It’s something I have come to live with.

Stress, anxiety, and alcohol

Enter Covid-19 and that made the situation even worse. The stress and anxiety that a lot of us felt were off the charts. During the pandemic, I drank more than I should on most Friday nights. It left me with some pretty brutal hangovers on the weekend that lasted into the early part of the next week on several occasions. This is my story with sleep apnea and alcohol abuse.

Needless to say, this wasn’t very good for my overall sleep or how I managed my sleep apnea. To compound the problem, my wife told me that I refuse to put my mask on once I’ve had too much to drink. This defeats the entire purpose of using my sleep apnea machine in the first place.

Not only was I abusing my liver with the booze, but I also wasn’t getting the sleep I needed thanks to not wearing my mask. Alcohol makes it hard to get quality sleep even if you don’t have sleep apnea, so this made the entire situation much worse.

The turning point: why I cut back

In early November of 2022, we rented a cabin to have a weekend gathering for some friends. Needless to say, that too much alcohol was served that weekend and I suffered greatly for it. I had bundled up my apnea machine because the cabin had power, but never, never used it because of my drinking.

When I woke up on Saturday, I had a horrible hangover and that led me to the conclusion that I simply can’t consume a great deal of alcohol if I want to manage my sleep apnea. My mask was on the chair beside me, and I hadn’t put it on.

I decided then that I had to cut back my drinking drastically if I want to have decent rest and take better care of myself. Since that eye-opening Saturday, I have stayed away from excess alcohol. I still have a drink or 2, but I’m leaving it at that.

How I feel now

I have a lot more energy without the excess alcohol in my body. I sleep better, and I get up on Saturdays now with energy. It’s not worth the suffering to drink too much especially if you have sleep apnea. The alcohol wrecks you in far too many ways.

If you have apnea and are a frequent drinker, try cutting back or go without it entirely. It’s worth it in the end because of how you feel. Alcohol doesn’t mix well with sleep apnea, and it’s better avoided completely or taken in smaller doses.

My sleep apnea and alcohol abuse story

I want to manage my sleep apnea to the best of my ability. It’s important to take care of yourself. Frequent drinking where you consume too much doesn’t do anything for your sleep apnea. I’m glad I have reduced my consumption way down as I notice a big difference already.

Does alcohol affect your sleep apnea too? Please share your story and/or comment below.

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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 SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net 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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