why do people snore when they’re drunk?

Here’s a question I got asked recently:

How come my roommate snores when she goes to bed after she’s been drinking, when she never snores otherwise?”

So, we know that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant – which has nothing to do with mood and everything to do with slowing things down in your brain and spine.

The more you drink, the more things get slowed down, starting with your pre-frontal cortex, where decision-making, judgment, and reasoning happen, and moving backward and deeper into your brain. Eventually the parts of your brain that make your muscle work get affected.

Which is where snoring comes in.

Snoring due to drinking happens when alcohol affects the parts of your brain that keep your mouth, nose, and throat muscles open. Everyone’s reaction to alcohol is different, so exactly how much alcohol it takes to do this will vary from individual to individual, but there will be a point for most people when the muscles of the mouth, nose and throat are sufficiently relaxed that some part of the required anatomy lacks sufficient muscle tone to allow in noiselessly.

Solution?

Well, alas, the only way to prevent this from happening is do drink less or else stay awake until you’re sober enough not to snore. Sorry.

Solution for the roommate? Earplugs.

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